Welcomed into SWAS

Cory Crombie has made history by being the first athlete with a disability to earn a position in a South West Academy of Sport program.

The 16-year-old is blazing a trail for other South West teenagers by showing that you can overcome adversity to achieve success in sport.

Less than two years after suffering a life-changing spinal cord injury after crashing on his BMX bike, Crombie is once again competing.

“Before my accident I raced BMX, racing around the country and representing Australia in the US,” Crombie said.

“And then I crashed on my bike and paralysed myself, which is how I ended up in a wheelchair.

“I just wanted to keep doing sport.

“I tried basketball – I liked basketball – but track was more my thing.”

Crombie is finding success in both track and road wheelchair racing, making it to nationals earlier this year for track.

The Dalyellup resident, who attends Bunbury Catholic College, is grateful to SWAS for supporting him and giving him the chance to pave the way for other athletes with a disability.

“Doing sports in a wheelchair, obviously you have to overcome that you are disabled and then you have to go a step forward to do the sport,” Crombie said.

“There’s not lots of people who manage to do both.”

Crombie’s goal is to achieve faster times and compete in some long-distance events, and maybe one day represent Australia at the Paralympic Games.

SWAS aims to develop tomorrow’s champions by providing aspiring South West athletes with high-level support through the partner sport programs of Australian Rules football, hockey and netball, as well as an Individual Athlete Support Program.

Since its establishment in 2008, SWAS has nurtured the development of athletes who have gone on to compete on sport’s biggest stages including in the AFL, world championships, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games. Other athletes have secured US college scholarships.