19/06/2019

Gold Medalist Anderson dives into Swimming

Swimming is shaping up as being one of the largest competition sports at the INAS Global Games 2019 with as many as 250 swimming entries from around the world.

“With World Para Swimming sanctioning, the INAS Games will not only be a highly contested event, it will be a great pathway to Tokyo” says Brisbane 2019 INAS Global Games CEO Robyn Smith.

The program, overseen by Swimming Queensland’s Michael Anderson OAM, himself a medal winning para-swimmer, is attracting a very high calibre field to compete under the INAS banner in Brisbane during the Games this October.

Michael is excited  by the challenge of delivering a world-class competition, stating “Swimming Queensland has a proud history of delivering high quality swimming competitions and programs. We recognise the importance of developing all levels of the sport – from grass roots to high performance – and are extremely adept in delivering programs targeting each level. When invited to come on board as the event host of the INAS Global Games swimming program, we saw it as an opportunity to promote inclusion, diversity and quality competition.”

Michael contracted meningitis when he was three years old and as a result, had nerve damage in his legs and a hearing impairment.

“I grew up playing team sports and it wasn’t until I commenced swimming in my early teenage years that my doctor discovered I had suffered nerve damage as a result of having meningitis. I took this opportunity to become internationally classified in the S10 classification which has provided me with wonderful opportunities to travel the world and compete in three Paralympic Games – Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 – and several other international tournaments.”

Michael held the World Records in both the 50m and 100m backstroke S10 classification and claimed Gold, Silver and Bronze medals during his Paralympic career.

“I know what it’s like to be an elite athlete with a disability, so it’s both a pleasure and an honour to be able to provide the best environment for the swimmers competing at the INAS Global Games in my hometown.”

Already over 200 athletes have entered the swim meet, held October 13-17 at the Sleeman Aquatic Centre – built for the Brisbane Commonwealth Games in 1982 and also used as the centre of swimming during the 1994 World Masters Games and the 2001 Goodwill Games.