Lauren Sinclair has a
refreshing attitude towards life and to her swimming endeavours - to be
the best she can and to do the best she can. The 15-year-old has been
swimming competitively since she was 10 and this Saturday will race in
nine events at the national titles at Homebush, vying for a place in
the Australian Paralympics
team for the 2004 Games in Athens.
The Smithfield Amateur Swim Club competitor was diagnosed at
15-months-old with Sotos Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the
brain and its muscle system.
"I just try to do my
best whenever I swim" she told the Advance.
Under the tutelage of Bruce Edmunds, Lauren has improved over the past
18 months since she began swimming at the Smithfield club. Edmunds said
Lauren was an "exceptional trainer".
"Lauren swims here twice a day, eight sessions a week, and trains
between 4km and 5km in
each of these sessions"Edmunds said.
"I like to swim and
improve my times and my stroke techniques", she said.
"My goal is to make some finals at the nationals."
Lauren said her long-term goal was to teach.
"I would like to work as a pre-school or primary school teacher," she
Titles Darwin September 2002
Darwin, Lauren received 3 PBs from her 4 swims.
She got a PB & a silver in the 50 Metre Breast Stroke,
a PB & abronze in the 50 Metre Back stroke and a silver
in the relay to Qld.
Spanish National Titles July
Spain July 2002
As the disability swimming contestants for the
Commonwealth games were limited, the Australian
association sent a teamto Spain for their national titles.
Lauren has just returned home from competing where
she won 1 gold medal, 1 silver medal & 2 Bronze medals
in the adult disability class. Her next major competition is the
Australian National School Titles in Darwin in September.
(Blacktown Advocate July 2002.
SWIMMING by Be Bonham)
swimming Champion arrived home last week within hours of Ian Thorpe
up his swimming suit for the first time in Manchester.
- the youngest member of an Australian squad that competed in the Open
International Spanish Swimming Championships in Badajoz - brought back
a Gold, a silver & two bronze medals for her family & her
for disabled athletes, were Lauren's first taste of international
"I've raced against
swimmers of all ages before, but never overseas," she said. "It was a
Lauren's mother Donna
said she and her husband Paul had been nervous about sending their
to compete on her own for the first time.
was a big decision because she is so young,"
Mrs Sinclair said. "But in the end we were
swayed by the fact that only 10 athletes were invited and three coaches
were travelling with them."
Time differences and
tight schedules wrought havoc with Lauren's communication with her
her progress in Spain. The Sinclairs were unaware the extent of their
success until after her plane landed last Wednesday.
got a phone message in the middle of the night from Lauren saying she
finished a race but she was so excited, she forgot to say she'd won"
Mrs Sinclair said.
Lauren has Sotos Syndrome
and swims in th S10 functional class. Her talent was spotted as an
during swimming -as-therapy sessions.
Mrs Sinclair said her
daughter's passion for the sport had been growing ever since, along
her sellf confidence.
were in the 100m butterfly (gold), 400m freestyle (silver), 50 m
(bronze) and 100m freestyle (bronze).
"My long-term goals
are to compete in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and the 2008
Paralympics in Beijing," she said.
Lauren Sinclair & Dawn Fraser
- Feb 2001
our Lauren's true grit.
Advocate Wednesday, February 28, 2001)
DISABILITY has not prevented Lauren Sinclair from achieving her
dreams, Now she is aiming for the 2004 Paralympics. The 12 year old
the Junior Female Cerebral Palsy Swimmer of the year Award from Dawn
at Homebush on February 16. She took half a second off the National
for the 50m butterfly and 4.5 seconds off the 100m butterfly at the
Championships in Homebush recently. The Previous record was set by 2000
Paralympian, Kate Bailey who took home a bronze medal at the Sydney
Lauren took up swimming as a toddler to help her battle Sotos
Syndrome with which 1 in 100,000 are born. Sotos Syndrome hinders
of gross motor skills. It also causes the feet and hands to grow large
in proportion to the rest of the body. Despite her setbacks Lauren took
up swimming and started competition when she was 5 years old, "I
train six times a week," she said
The Toongabbie teenager travels to Mt Druitt pool as she has built a
relationship with the coach Vanessa Haines who works there.
have made a lot of friends through this,"
Lauren is now training to compete in the 2004 Athens Paralympics.
Lauren Currently holds the S9 & under National
for the following events as at 7/7/2001
laps up training
Gerard Sutton (Blacktown City Sun, Tues
Popular theory suggests that swimming is a lonely sport. Hours are
to be spent in solitude pursuing that black line up and down the pool.
Disabled swimmer Lauren Sinclair trains as hard as any aspiring
but it would be easy to mistake her for just another youngester looking
for a leisurely splash at Blacktown Pool. Eleven year old Lauren,
the water with a carefree smile, not the tortued expression of someone
about to undertake hours of solid training.
"She absolutely loves it" her mother,
said."Lauren has to complete five sessions
a week constantly throughout the year or her muscle tone drops very
suffers from Sotos
Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder
physical overgrowth in the first years of her life. She originally took
up swimming as a form of therapy, but it quickly became a passion.
This year, Lauren posted two personal best times on her way to winning
five individual gold medals and relay gold medals at the Pacific School
Games. At just 11 years old, she was also the youngest athelete to try
for a place on the Paralympic Games team. After missing selection,
is firmly focused on Athens in 2004. "To
considered for the Paralympics team while still in Primary school is a
remarkable thing," Donna said. "Lauren
attends St Anthony's Primary at Giraween, and the school is highly
of their burgeoning swimming star. This year Lauren has spent a lot of
time at competition and the school has done everthing possible to keep
her up to speed. Hopefully, the same will happen when she goes to High
School next year," Donna said.
"She usually trains for a couple of hours after school, so it's quite
by the time we sit down to eat, then think about homework. We encourage
Lauren to get as much as possible done on the one night she doesn't
is now looking forward to the State Disability championships at
Pool in November, and is confident of qualifying for the nationals and
adding to her loaded trophy cabinet.
(Personal note from her
Lauren has has continued to achieve
many goals in her life to date. She held most of the National
Records for the under 13 year olds & in the 2000 Pacific School
Games she competed in 7 events in the under 13 year olds (she was then
still 11 years old) eventually winning 5 individual gold medals &
gold medals in team relay events). She swims several personal
best at every meet she attends and seems to absolutely thrive on competion. She continues to achieve as the years go by.
In 1999 she
made the preselection trials for the 2000 Paralympics, being the
person ever to achieve this honour. While she did not make the selected
squad, to have been given the chance to compete was a wonderful
She has currently been selected in a squad funded by the Dept of Sport
to train for the 2004 paralympics in Athens. She holds world rankings
most disiplines,including 50m, 100m & 400m Freestyle as well as in
Breaststroke, Butterfly & Backstroke. In training each day she
5Km before commencing her formal training.
Since 14th September, 2004
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Last Updated 6th November, 2005
Copyright © 2000 Barry Sinclair,
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