Para-athlete throws herself into USC study, training - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Para-athlete throws herself into USC study, training

1 Apr 2019

As a child, Bowen-born Kyra Domrow loved track and field events. When her genetic vision impairment worsened at 14 years of age, she “had to pick whether to be a thrower or a runner or a jumper”.

Kyra chose throwing, quickly achieving state and national records for discus and shotput before facing setbacks due to rule changes in Para-athletics classifications.

Enrolling at USC in 2017 straight after graduating from Bowen State High School, Kyra sought a fresh start and a supportive environment for her sporting and academic pursuits.

She found a passion for a social work career and a “family” of supporters through USC’s High Performance Student Athlete (HPSA) program.

This semester, the 20-year-old current Queensland champion for her category in discus and shotput has received USC’s $20,000 June Canavan Para-athlete Sport Scholarship to offset expenses as she chases her dreams.

“I was so surprised to receive this scholarship and it couldn’t have come at a better time,” said the Sippy Downs resident, who has recently added hammer-throw to her disciplines.

“It will help me get to Darwin in April for international re-classification and the Arafura Athletics Championships, while continuing the third year of my Bachelor of Social Work.

“I went through several years of being told I wasn’t blind enough, and then I was too blind. I’ll keep working my butt off trying to make my way into the Australian team.”

Kyra’s commitments allow for little spare time. She works out at the USC Gym, takes advantage of HPSA services such as nutrition and psychology guidance, and travels to Ipswich weekly to train with Ipswich and District Athletics Club.

With her every step of the way – including at USC lectures – is guide dog Esme. “She has given me a better quality of life,” Kyra said.

Kyra said her immediate goals are to graduate from university and start a career in youth justice.

And then there’s the Tokyo Paralympics. “I’d like to make 2020 but I’m willing to compromise for 2024. That just means I’ll have longer to prepare.”

Kyra was one of nine outstanding USC student athletes to share in $62,000 in scholarships presented by USC during Orientation Week as part of its annual HPSA program launch.

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