Reardon races to Paralympic debut

Reardon races to Paralympic debut

Kristyn Comino

Scott Reardon

Sprinter Scott Reardon ahead of his Paralympic Games debut. Photo: Evan O’Hanlon

23 July 2012: Sprinter Scott Reardon will make his Paralympic Games debut in London this year, competing in not just one event, but three.

The University of Canberra student will race in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay and is quietly confident of a podium finish, although he is more interested in achieving a personal best result.

“To win a gold medal will be hard but I’m going over there to get on the podium and I’m pretty confident that’s looking likely,” Reardon said.

“The results are not that significant to me, it’s more about running your best race. I’ll be running as fast I can to get a personal best, that’s more satisfying than being on the podium.”

Reardon competes in the T42 class of the Paralympics, having lost his right leg in an accident at his farm in Temora when he was 12.

The 22-year-old moved to Canberra in 2009 to begin training at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and study a Bachelor of Education in Secondary Teaching (Design and Technology) at the University. He said his family and school friends will be in London to cheer him on at the Paralympics, which he can’t wait to attend.

“I’m pretty excited – it hasn’t really hit me yet.  I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like to go, it’s going to be a really different experience and I’m looking forward to it.”

Reardon has tasted sporting success before when he represented Australia in water skiing, including winning world championships in 2007 and 2009.

“Sport helped me be the person I am today. Water skiing was a bit of a past life, I’ve always enjoyed sport and I used to water ski for a while but I’ve always liked athletics and being in athletic competitions, so that’s my focus now.”

To compete in the Paralympics, Reardon has deferred his studies for this year, saying the University understands his commitments. 

“UC understands my sport is my priority and gives me the flexibility to do both. It has to go both ways and it does, my coaches and the University both give me the flexibility.”

He said he chose his design and technology focused education degree because it is a good combination of his passion for teaching and his enjoyment of the subject.

“It’s a couple of my loves combined, I’ve liked seeing kids that I’ve trained progress and thinking that I’ve played a small part in that, and I always liked building and making things, so it’s a perfect match.”

As an athlete at the AIS, Reardon said he has been lucky enough to have trained with some of his sporting heroes, such as Paralympic gold medalist Heath Francis. His current squad includes fellow University student and Paralympic gold medalist Evan O’Hanlon, who he said has been an inspiration.

“These people inspire me to do what I do. The squad at the AIS is very close and we always support each other, it’s the little things that make a difference sometimes like a bit of encouragement and knowing that you’ve got people behind you.”

The London Paralympic Games begin on 29 August 2012.

Read more about UC Olympic Games and Paralympic Games representatives:

Michael prepares for Paralympic performance

Scott sprints to second Paralympics

Evan eyes more Paralympic gold

Powell pedals to Paralympics

Peacock flies into Olympic Games debut

Angie's second Olympic adventure

Rocket Roberts launches to London 

Sally set for second Olympic swim