Determination, Attitude and Heart: Inspiring Message From Brendan Hall (OAM)

Friday, November 26 2021
Our Year 10 and Year 11 students recently received an inspirational message from one of Australia’s premier Paralympic athletes, gold medallist Brendan Hall, through a special address in the Faith Sports Centre.

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”
– Scott Hamilton

Determination, the right attitude, and a whole lot of heart. That’s the message our Year 10 and 11 students heard while listening to inspiring Paralympian gold medallist Brendan Hall (OAM) this past Wednesday.

You could have heard a pin drop, as the students gathered in the Sports Centre were transfixed on Brendan, and his recounting of his fight for life as a six-year-old. After contracting chicken pox so severely he ended up in hospital, Brendan subsequently developed deep vein thrombosis, and went into cardiac arrest for 27 minutes. It was at this time that Brendan’s parents had to make an agonising decision, amputating his right leg through the knee in order to save his life.

Brendan was determined to be a ‘normal’ kid and told tales of playing touch football in his wheelchair, and being treated the same as any other player. School wasn’t all smooth sailing though; Brendan suffered his fair share of teasing and name calling whilst at school, due to his disability.

Sport and swimming in particular was where he felt most comfortable, and Brendan took to swimming like a fish to water, representing Australia for the first time in 2007 at age 13, only 7 years after his amputation and rehabilitation. In 2009, he would go on to claim his 1st World Champion title and World Record. He went on to represent Australia in four Paralympic Games, five World Championships, 2 Commonwealth Games and 3 Para Pan Pacific games.

Outside of the pool, Brendan found himself having to prove that he wasn’t “a liability”, especially when undergoing his Bronze Medallion to qualify as a volunteer Surf Lifesaver, a qualification he attained while also gaining his Bachelor degree in Exercise and Sport Science.

Speaking to students about body image, Brendan imparted some wisdom to students:

“There is not one perfect body type; being accepting of who you are and being comfortable with your body is of utmost importance, as our bodies are forever changing as we get older. Your attitude, values and beliefs are most important to ensure you continue to move forward and achieve.”

We wish Brendan and his partner all the best for the upcoming birth of their first child, and will be cheering him on through his training and preparation for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

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