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Athlete sets herself ocean challenge to give sporting chance to others

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A triathlete is planning a 10km ocean swim this month to put money back into a foundation that helps athletes with a disability.

Fiona Livock will hit the water on June 30 to raise money for Sporting Dreams, a not-for-profit group established by Paralympian Marayke Jonkers that helps athletes with physical disabilities realise their sporting goals.

A Sporting Dreams grant recipient in 2022, Fiona said the foundation had made a huge difference in her life and this was her way of saying ‘thanks’.

“I love a challenge and want to be able to help others,” she said.

Fiona has amniotic band syndrome. She has deformities in her hands and feet, and one leg shorter than the other, meaning a difference in strength.

Life has not been easy for her but she has found strength in sport.

“I have a lot of mental health stuff, including PTSD, depression and anxiety,” she said.

“As a kid I was made fun of and laughed at if I didn’t get things perfect first go. Therefore, I quickly learned to give up.”

Although she never learned to ride a bike in childhood, Fiona now competes in triathlons.

“I only started running in 2014 and worked my way up to my first half-marathon in 2016,” she said.

Fiona Livock is gearing up for a 10km ocean swim.

“I sat watching the Mooloolaba Triathlon wishing I could do that but ‘knowing’ I never could because I couldn’t ride a bike.

“The next year my thinking started to change. I never thought I could run a marathon but here I was doing that after five months.

“On Sunday, October 2, 2016, I got on a bike and learned to ride for the first time.

“Less than five years later, I finished my first full Ironman distance in a time that I felt proud of.”

Fiona knows the difficulties that athletes with disabilities face on a daily basis and how expensive it is to buy equipment.

She will donate 100 per cent of money raised in her big swim to Sporting Dreams.

“I’m looking forward to this new goal I’m challenging myself to, with my 10km ocean swim,” Fiona said.

“Training has been going fabulously with my super incredible coach working her magic to make this goal achievable.

“I’m doing this as a challenge for myself and to help raise money to help other athletes with disabilities because finding the money for things like specialist equipment is never cheap.”

Fiona would like other athletes to join her for either all or part of the swim.

To help Fiona reach her fundraising target, go to GoFundMe Sporting Dreams Charity Ocean Swim Fundraiser or sportingdreams.org.au.

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