Casey is go­ing for gold

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS - By Gra­hame Whyte

Casey Petrie of Co­bram is de­ter­mined not to let any­thing stop her from achiev­ing her sport­ing goals.

And that de­ter­mi­na­tion has en­abled her to achieve se­lec­tion in the Spe­cial Olympics to be held in Ade­laide next year.

Ms Petrie said she en­joyed both the swim­ming and the op­por­tu­nity to catch up with peo­ple she knows at the events.

‘‘I train at Ba­rooga on my own, and at Echuca with the Spe­cial Olympics team,’’ she said.

‘‘Out of my squad, I am the only one who has been se­lected to go.’’

Ms Petrie re­cently re­ceived an email from the Spe­cial Olympics board say­ing she had been cho­sen for two events, the 50 m back­stroke and the 100 m freestyle.

She said that fol­low­ing her se­lec­tion, the reg­u­lar twice­weekly train­ing sched­ule would now be in­creased.

The 33-year-old, who started swim­ming at 16, said she wasn’t re­ally in­ter­ested in swim­ming un­til she be­gan com­pet­ing.

‘‘I like it more now that things have pro­gressed,’’ she said.

And she is quite used to trav­el­ling around the coun­try­side to pur­sue her love of swim­ming com­pet­i­tively.

Grow­ing up in St Ar­naud and train­ing with the Bendigo squad meant lots of time on the road.

‘‘My par­ents are re­ally sup­port­ive — they get be­hind me,’’ Ms Petrie said.

‘‘They were re­ally ex­cited to hear the news that I was se­lected,’’ she said.

The next step for this tal­ented young woman is a fundrais­ing cam­paign to cover the ex­penses of go­ing to Ade­laide and com­pet­ing in 2018.

The Spe­cial Olympics squad in Echuca will as­sist in the fundrais­ing.

Ms Petrie is now a sea­soned com­peti­tor, hav­ing won gold in the 50 m back­stroke at the 2013 Spe­cial Olympics in New­cas­tle.

She is look­ing for­ward to her first trip to Ade­laide and the prospect of another gold medal, which will mean she qual­i­fies for the World Games in the United States.

Back­stroke is her favourite for a very sim­ple rea­son. ‘‘I find it eas­ier,’’ she said. ‘‘I don't have to worry about where every­one else is, I just con­cen­trate on my­self and fo­cus on the roof.’’

Our champion: Casey Petrie of Co­bram has been se­lected for a berth in the Spe­cial Olympics.

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