Eighteen-year-old Port Lincoln swimmer Jade Calverley will be the only South Australian representative at the World Dwarf Games in Ontario, Canada come August.
However, before heading to the World Dwarf Games, Calverley will compete in the State Championships this month.
For the first time, Calverley has joined the Immanuel College team in Adelaide for the championships, training with her former coach, Carol Veldhuyzen.
Calverley said she was travelling to Adelaide for regular training and used the tips and focus from those in her individual training sessions in Port Lincoln.
The World Dwarf Games 2017 is the largest sporting event held exclusively for athletes with dwarfism.
At the games Calverley will compete in the 50 metre freestyle and 50 metre breast stroke, 100 metre breast stroke, the 200 metre individual medley and the 4x100 freestyle relay.
She said in addition to swimming she was also selected to join the soccer team at the games.
“I’m really excited about being a part of the team because swimming is such an individual competition and it is about improving your own PBs (personal bests) whereas with the soccer team we are all really excited as a team and really want to get to the final,” she said.
Calverley said while the dwarf games were not as widely recognised as the Paralympics, in some ways the dwarf games were better.
She said the dwarf games gave sports people with short stature the opportunity to compete against each other on “a level playing field”.
“The first training I went to was really surreal as I was meeting all these athletes with small stature,” Calverley said.
“That is probably one of the things I am probably most excited about is that at the games I will get to spend time with other athletes like me when I don’t get the chance to do that in Port Lincoln,” Calverley said.
She said a recent fundraising gala dinner with other athletes had made the excitement of the games set in.
Calverley said one of the best things about the dwarf games was those selected to compete were chosen on their dedication and commitment to their sport.
“I think it is really nice that it recognises the commitment because it does take a lot of motivation to do the training,” she said.
Calverley said she did most of her training in the pool by her self which she found fun.
She said with only herself to keep her focused, her training was all about pushing and bettering her swimming, rather than trying to beat or compete with someone else.
“It has been a goal for me for a few years to attend the games so I am really looking forward to it.”
A fundraising page has been set up online to get the Australian World Dwarf Games team to Canada, to donate visit www.gofundme.com/7qqvqsys