Ready. Set. Go! If only life was so simple… As an athlete with a disability we are always getting ready. Set. Well that’s the easy part. Go…. That’s the tricky part. Preparation is always the key ingredient with plenty of support, and self-belief that there are no limitations.
My name is Lakeisha Patterson, otherwise known as Lucky in the swimming world, I am 15 years old with Cerebral Palsy, Early onset Parkinson’s Disease, Epilepsy and Micrographia, to name a few, ha. Life is challenging at times, even without a disability. But if you surround yourself in the right environment, and keep your eyes open, you shall surely discover many opportunities as I have.
I started swimming to gain a pain free day. With incredible encouragement from a learn to swim coach who never gave up on me, I gained more strength every day. That everyday became a lifestyle in and out of the water that created many opportunities for greatness.
When all is going great, the medal collection expands. My Sponsor, my mum, and my two sisters have made many sacrifices so as I can achieve my dream of becoming an Australian Paralympic Swimmer. Six months ago, this all seemed like a dream and then reality came. I made the Australian Para Swim Team. My amazing mum who I relied on to get up at 3.30am every morning to drive me 90 minutes to training with nutrition prepared twice a day became ill. This also was going to impact my ability to attend regular training sessions.
When your support falls, so does all hope? Digging deep into your Faith makes nothing else matter. But when Charity comes in the form of a Blessing as has Sporting Dreams, Hope is restored to allow me to continue my dream. I have in the past three months returned from competing in Brazil bringing home a Whopping 3 Gold, 5 Silver and a Bronze Medal. I then became Australia’s Wild Card with a late entry into Commonwealth Games and took out a Bronze Medal!. Without unpacking my bag I then headed off to Para Pan Pacific Games in Pasadena, bring home Gold, Silver & 4 Bronze. Then backed it all up with QLD Short Course Female Multi Class Athlete of the Championships gaining 2 Gold & 2 Bronze. What a whirl win the past three months have been, and now pleased to say that I am currently ranked 3rd in the World.
All dreams are achievable, and hope can be restored with a blessing from Sporting Dreams. To learn that there was a support network of wonderful giving people also Business that are keen to invest in an athlete is really quite wonderful.
Thank you Sporting Dreams, for making a difference in my family’s life. The funding will enable me to continue my hectic Training schedule, assist with travel and uniform costs.
To create an Athlete not only requires motivation, persistence, and determination. The key ingredient is Commitment and support. Whether it be able body, or Disability, young or aged. Life is going to be moderately challenging, but success is possible. Support network provides individuals with incentive and encouragement. The glue to any successful performance is the Culture that is created. That’s why Sporting Dreams is such a great investment in our future.
As I dive through the steam rising above the lane ropes in the pool every day, I remind myself of a fortunate gift I have in swimming. To gain a pain free day, clearing my mind ready to take on the World at School each day and be Thankful of my Sponsor and greatest supporter in life. My Mum, My sisters and My Community that love being part of my journey.
Lakeisha Patterson- Swimming
Thank you Sporting Dreams for investing in me.