Samantha Bradfield is busier these days than many 19-year-olds.
The Bacchus Marsh teen, who has a developmental delay which affects her speech, is training to compete at the Special Olympics Australia national games in Adelaide later this year.
The games, held every four years over five days, is a challenging competition for athletes with a disability to compete across a range of sports from athletics and basketball to gymnastics and tennis. Samantha will compete in the 100 metres, 400 metres, shot put and four x 100 metre relay events.
“This is her fifth year in athletics
with Special Olympics,” her mother Katrina said.
“She also does swimming and basketball.
“Samantha loves Special Olympics because she’s made a lot of friends and they’re very encouraging.”
Samantha is part of an athletes leadership program run by Victoria Police and she said her goal is to move into coaching.
“The program has really brought Samantha out of her shell because they learn how to do public speaking and activities to boost confidence,” Katrina said.
The Victorian team will join more than 1000 hopefuls from across the country to compete in Adelaide from April 16 to 20. Athletes are vying for a spot on the Australian team that will head to Abu Dhabi for the Special Olympics world summer games next year.