Special Oympics swimmer snaps up YAS

A Special Olympics swimmer has earned the Young Achiever Scheme award for August.

YAS aims to financially assist young people to participate at a state or national level for activities, events or competitions.

It is Nathan Pearce's second YAS award for the year.

The 17-year-old Belvoir Special School student won gold at the recent Special Olympics National Games, qualifying him to represent Australia at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games to be held in Abu Dhabi during March.

Nathan claimed a YAS award earlier in the year to help with costs associated with swimming at the national games and is now fundraising for the world games.

His carer, Judith, said Nathan was virtually a non-swimmer two years ago before taking up private swimming lessons.

“He has taken to swimming like a duck to water and his technique is spot on,” she said.

Nathan’s training schedule involves personal training sessions at the gym three times a week, private swimming lessons once a week and takes part in the Special Olympics swim squad on Saturdays at the Wodonga Sports and Leisure Centre.

The Wodonga teenager was a recent finalist at the 2018 RED Carpet Youth Awards for endurance and persistence.

Judith said he is excited about the opportunity to travel overseas for his sport.

“He loves to travel and go to new places because he recently got his learner driver’s licence,” she said.

YAS is open to young people between the age of 12 and 18. There are grants of $500 available for successful individual applicants, and $3000 for successful team applicants.

For a YAS application form visit Wodonga Council’s website.