If there was ever an athletic comeback story that caused folk to be amazed, it must be the brief athletics story of Charlize Colwell. This amazing young T37 para athlete had major surgery in 2019 to have metal plates inserted into one of her legs.
Recovery took a number of months, but with the right healing and physio she approached the 2020 season with a great deal of zeal and guts. This surgery was followed up recently by a further replacement of metal plates.
Charlize started with the Danszak Speed Squad in January 2019 at 12 years of age. In a very short period of time her bubbly happy-go-lucky personality endeared her to the squad members as well as to the whole of the Athletics Wollongong Club.
In that brief training period before surgery she was already proving to have the makings of a para athletic talent. Her drive, dedication to hard work and love of athletics laid the groundwork for an awesome 2020-2021 season
In the 2020 NSW All Schools Championships competing in the 12-15 years category against other para athletics categories, she earned silver in the 800m in 3.05.88sec and was just out of the medals with a fourth place in both the 100m 16.48sec and the 200m 34.17sec.
In 2021 she competed as a 14-year-old in the Under 20 Para 400m in the ACT Championships on April 12-14 winning silver in 79.67sec. She followed this up with a 1st in the U 15 Para 800m in 3.04.00sec, 2nd in the U15 Para 400m 78.00sec and 3rd in the U15 100 16.48sec and 200m 34.99sec at the NSW Junior Championships held from March 12-14.
With her form improving she was eligible to compete in the Australian Track and Field Championships held from April 12-19, 2021, at SOPAC. Competing in the U15 Para class she produced her best form to come 4th in the 100m 16.85sec, 2nd 400m 77.48sec, 4th 200m 34.41sec and first in the 800m 3.09.10sec.
Her hard work and results didn't go unnoticed by athletics governing bodies. She was invited as one of the youngest participants to be involved with the Athletics NSW targeted Talent Program. She was selected to attend the Paralympic Pathways Camp, which monitors and develops future possible Australian Paralympic athletes. She has also been invited to attend the Little Athletics Australia preparation camp in October of this year.
Her immediate future plan is to rest and recover over her recent operation and then to get back into training in preparation for the All Schools Athletics Championships being held later this year.
Our club wishes this amazing young athlete all the best in her future athletics endeavours.
SEEING THE LIGHT
Well done to both Wollongong and Shellharbour councils for their new "lighting the pathways" initiatives. Both councils will be turning on the lights at various grounds and parks for people to be able to get out and exercise during these difficult pandemic restriction times. Both Wollongong and Shellharbour will have lights on from 4.30pm to 9pm.
The Parkrun may be cancelled currently. But, all being well, it'll be back by August 7: AW will be "taking over" the North Wollongong Parkrun on this date.
To promote our upcoming season and to show our thanks to Parkrun for helping facilitate our Winter Distance Running Point score (https://drive.google.com/.../16O9PRl1Yv2GMdxabJPkyb.../view), Athletics Wollongong will be providing all the volunteers.
www.athleticswollongong.org.au and on FaceBook