Triple treat for lightning Laura
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.