Variety Heart Scholarship recipient Gabriella, 15, is making waves in the pool.

Gabriella represented her school and then went on to represent Combined Independent Schools (CIS), at the NSW all schools swimming championships in Sydney. Winning two gold and two silver medals at the NSW CIS swimming championships in Sydney, Gabriella also broke an NSW Multi class record in backstroke, previously held by another Variety Heart Scholarship recipient Maddie Elliot. Taking it that next step Gabriella has also been selected to compete in the Australian All Schools Swimming Championships in Hobart.

Representing NSW in 2017 and 2018 at the National Games with Special Olympics Gabriella won medals at both events, including four gold medals in Adelaide in 2018.

“I have set myself goals which I want to continue to work towards. I don’t want to have regrets later thinking “what if”. I want to make myself proud of who I am. I also think that I have been given a talent and the opportunity to keep developing that talent, I don’t want to waste that chance.”

“My parents have helped me to get where I am today. They keep encouraging me to keep striving to achieve my goals one step at a time. My swimming coaches Ellana, and “coach Buzz” from West Wallsend Indoor Swimming Club have also helped me to keep setting my self-goals and helping me plan ways to achieve them.”

“They also show me the skills I need to learn and keep developing my swimming technique. They give me confidence that I can achieve something if I am willing to put in the hard work for it.”

In 2018 Gabriella received a Variety Heart Scholarship in Sport.

The Scholarship was awarded to cover costs incurred for Training, Entry/Competition, Equipment, Registration Costs, Uniforms, and Travel. This year the focus is on competing in the National All Schools Swimming Championships in Melbourne in July. Gabriella has also applied for selection to compete in the Global Games in Brisbane later in the year.