Dis­abil­ity is no bar­rier to achievement

Southern Telegraph - - NEWS - Pierra Wil­lix

Ath­lete Mark Daniels has over­come more than most, but has not let a near-fa­tal ac­ci­dent stop his dreams.

The Bal­divis man is in the run­ning for the Surge Fit­ness Sports Award, part of the Seven News Young Achiever Awards.

Learning to walk again af­ter a mo­tor­cy­cle crash in Port Kennedy left him fight­ing for his life in 2015, the 25-year-old lost part of his right leg, and was also left with a split femoral artery, a bro­ken neck, 11 bro­ken ribs, a punc­tured lung, a rup­tured kid­ney, a dam­aged heart and a bro­ken hand.

The only West Aus­tralian to don the green and gold in last year’s In­vic­tus Games, the keen ath­lete com­peted in in­door row­ing, swim­ming, sit­ting vol­ley­ball and wheel­chair rugby, win­ning bronze in his in­door row­ing event and also being part of the first Aus­tralian team to take away a medal in wheel­chair rugby with a gold medal plac­ing.

He also made his Para-triathlon de­but at the Ocea­nia Cham­pi­onships, plac­ing third and qual­i­fy­ing for the Para-triathlon World Cup, and is train­ing to com­pete in the Par­a­lympics in 2020.

Able Sea­man Daniels joined the Royal Aus­tralian Navy in 2012 and serves as a marine tech­ni­cian, work­ing at bases in­clud­ing HMAS Stir­ling.

He said he was “ab­so­lutely thrilled” and being nom­i­nated was an honour.

“For me it’s great to have some­one with a dis­abil­ity recog­nised,” he said.

Win­ners will be an­nounced at a Gala Din­ner in Perth on May 25.

Bal­divis ath­lete Mark Daniels.

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