Shai Mayberry at the Special Olympics National Games in Adelaide

Shai has been an active member of Special Olympics Brisbane Club for the past three years, having learned to swim in a Michael Phelps swimming program run by Liz Ewan and Jullie-Anne Tuxworth in 2013.

Shai now trains at Redcliffe High Performance Centre four times a week, year-round with Coach Terry Bourke who he loves and respects. Shai travels 45 minutes each way and it’s worth the effort for the joy, fitness, friendship and sense of achievement Shai gains.

He attends inter-club swimming carnivals held regularly throughout the warmer months and last September competed in the S.O. State Swimming Championships receiving Gold and Silver as well as a Bronze medal for a 500m open water swim.

Those achievements gained his invitation to join Team QLD to compete in the National Games in Adelaide this month. He was very proud to wear his Queensland uniform.

In the lead up, he has also competed to his best ability in the NCC swimming carnival as well as the North West District, Met North Regional and QLD School Sport State Championships at Chandler.

He has continued to improve on his times in each event and achieved three more PBs (Personal Bests) at the National Games.

Races & Results:

4 x 50m Freestyle Relay          1ST          GOLD              

50m Butterfly                         2ND       SILVER             00:54:01          PB by 00:05:31                       

50m Freestyle                         4TH                             00:47:74          PB by 00:00:46

100m Freestyle                       4TH                             1:54:74          PB by 00:01:52

Shai not only had the privilege of being presented with his Silver medal by Kieran Perkins but their photograph appeared in The Adelaide Advertiser on Thursday 19 April.

It has been a great experience for Shai and he is keen to get back to training again next week.

More about Special Olympics Australia:

For 40 years we have brought people with intellectual disability together with passionate volunteers to participate in weekly sports training, regular competition, fun and friendship.

Despite what many people think, we’re not the Paralympics. The Paralympics is for elite athletes, mainly with physical disability. Special Olympics is for people with intellectual disability.

At Special Olympics Australia everyone with an intellectual disability is welcome. Some participants join to have fun, make friends and enjoy the warmth of a welcoming community, while others are focused on winning and receiving medals.

We’re not just a major sports event. Special Olympics provides year-round sports training in multiple sports as well as competition at local, state, national and international level. The pinnacle of our competition ladder is the World Games which is hosted on a four-year cycle in summer and winter sports. We also provide health and leadership programs.

Almost 600,000 Australians have an intellectual disability. They are the largest disability population in the country and the world, and in Australia another child is diagnosed with an intellectual disability every two hours.

People with intellectual disability can learn new skills and can accomplish goals. They just learn differently, or need more time or support to succeed.

Our focus is to make ability visible. Unlike physical disability, intellectual disability is sometimes invisible.