Phoebe Mitchell, 23, will be competing in the Down Syndrome national swimming championships in Sydney. Picture: Nathan Dyer
IN between tackling state, national and world championships, Bellbrae athlete Phoebe Mitchell will be leading a fundraiser close to her heart.
Mitchell, 23, will be competing in the Down Syndrome national swimming championships in Sydney this weekend, in a lead-up to the world titles in Italy next July.
However, she’s been spending more time training out of the water as she prepares for the 15km City2Sea run in Melbourne in November.
She will lead a team for Down Syndrome Victoria, raising funds for an organisation that has helped her achieve her goals.
“Having Down syndrome means that I am different to lots of people. I usually take much longer to learn things and I am slower, but I can do anything if I try. So I always try hard,” Mitchell said.
“DSV have helped me lots over the years with ideas and special events that I have been part of, which have been lots of fun.”
Mitchell has been part of the Australian Down Syndrome swimming team for seven years, competing at world championships in Portugal (2008), Taiwan (2010), Italy (2012) and Mexico (2014).
She holds 14 world and many national records.
“I love doing lots of different sports as it keeps me fit and it makes me feel good, happy and excited,” Mitchell said. “I love to get out there and just do something where I meet lots of friends and it’s fun.”
Down Syndrome Victoria executive officer Sue O’Riley said Mitchell’s success promoted the view that people with Down Syndrome could make a valuable contribution.
“Phoebe is part of the emerging generation that has broken down many of the economic, environmental and cultural barriers to community inclusion,” Ms O’Riley said.