Triple treat for light­ning Laura

McIvor Times - - NEWS - By MICHAEL MAT­TINGLY

PYALONG’S Laura But­ler has never let any­thing stand in her way.

The tal­ented 16-year-old ath­lete lives with autism and at the re­cent Na­tional Spe­cial Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships took home three gold medals in the 100m, 200m and long jump and one sil­ver in the 400m.

The re­sult saw her qual­ify for the Aus­tralian team to com­pete in the Spe­cial Olympics in Abu Dhabi in March 2019.

The Spe­cial Olympics is dif­fer­ent to the Par­a­lympics in that it is solely for peo­ple with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties.

For Laura to qual­ify is an in­cred­i­ble achieve­ment when you think Laura is com­pet­ing against open-age women.

Laura’s mother, Michelle, said the fam­ily was over the moon when they heard the news.

“It was ex­cit­ing, very much so,” Michelle said.

As part of the Spe­cial Olympics, com­peti­tors have to raise $7000.

Laura and Michelle have found some great help in the Pyalong Neigh­bour­hood House, and to­gether they are on a mis­sion to raise the funds.

She is well on her way af­ter re­ceiv­ing gen­er­ous do­na­tions from many lo­cal fam­i­lies and busi­nesses.

“We have a few more meat and wood raf­fles still go­ing so hope­fully we can raise the last lit­tle bit,” Michelle said.

The Spe­cial Olympics will be Laura’s first time over­seas and Michelle said while she is a lit­tle ner­vous for it, she will have fam­ily there to sup­port her.

“Laura will have fam­ily and friends fly­ing across to sup­port her so hope­fully that will make it a lit­tle eas­ier on her.”

Michelle is also part of a driven group who are at­tempt­ing to give peo­ple with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties a fair go in the sport­ing world.

The group is look­ing at start­ing lo­cal com­pe­ti­tions in ath­let­ics, swim­ming, bas­ket­ball, ten­nis, gym­nas­tics and many other sports for those liv­ing with an in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­ity.

Of course an op­er­a­tion like this needs vol­un­teers and coaches to help make it hap­pen. So if you are in­ter­ested in get­ting in­volved and mak­ing a dif­fer­ence please call Michelle on 0403976 755.

If you wish to do­nate to help Laura chase her dream at the Spe­cial Olympics, call the Pyalong Neigh­bour­hood House on 5785 1462.

Laura But­ler won three gold medals at the Spe­cial Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships.

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