Scott sprints to second Paralympics

Scott sprints to second Paralympics

Kristyn Comino

27 July 2012: University of Canberra student and middle-distance runner Brad Scott already has a silver medal from the last Paralympic Games, and is aiming even higher for London.

Scott said he will be racing for a gold medal in the 800m and 1500m in the T37 class, having taken home silver in the 800m at Beijing. 

“I don’t feel pressure from external forces but I put pressure on myself. You want to get that carrot and that carrot for me is gold, and if I give it everything I’ve got then I’ve done my best to achieve that,” Scott said.

“I’m very confident in my own ability and that I’ll be in the top end of the field. If I give 100 per cent that’s the best I can do.”

Brad Scott

Paralympic silver-medallist Brad Scott will compete again in London. Photo courtesy of the Australian Paralympic Committee

The 24-year-old said he “won’t forget the feeling” of making it to his first Paralympics at Beijing and racing to win silver in front of 90,000 people.

“I just remember walking out into the stadium and seeing all the lights and saying to myself: ‘there’s no need to be nervous, don’t worry about it, just enjoy it and do what you came to do’.”

Scott, who has cerebral palsy, said he started running when he was part of his local football team and wanted to become fitter to keep up with his teammates. 

“I felt like I was really unfit and I was letting the team down. So I went to the football oval and decided to run one lap.  The next day I ran two laps and then the next three laps, and eventually I was running 50 laps of the oval. It was about me finding my own determination and fitness level - I think I was just telling myself I was unfit.”

Within six months of running professionally Scott was discovered by his current coach Iryna Dvoskina and gained a scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), moving from Bunbury in Western Australia in 2007 to begin training at the AIS in Canberra.

Scott’s coach also trains fellow University Paralympic sprinters Evan O’Hanlon, Scott Reardon and Michael Roeger. Scott said he admires her so much it has inspired him to become a coach himself, which is why he chose to study a double degree in sports coaching and exercise and sports management at the University.

“I want to get into the coaching and development field. I look up to my coach and I really admire her and I think I could grow into being a good coach as well.  I’m of the belief that you should do something you’re confident about rather than second guessing yourself.”

Scott added that his degree has helped him as an athlete in understanding his own body. He is currently studying one unit per semester and plans to focus more on his studies next year, saying as an athlete juggling university “you need to find the right balance”.

Scott’s regular training ahead of the Paralympics involves six gym sessions a week for up to two hours as well as two or three track sessions for two hours, plus two pool sessions. He also combines this with regular physiotherapy and recovery sessions.

“People mostly just see the product at a race, they don’t see the hard work that goes into it. I tell them to try being me for a day!” Scott joked.

He said he has “a good contingent” of family who will cheer him on in London, including his dad who was one of his keenest supporters at the last Paralympics. Scott said his dad became known by local commentators for waiting up to four hours at the stadium gates and running past everyone to ensure he got front row seats to watch his son compete.

The London Paralympic Games begin on 29 August 2012.

Read more about UC Olympic Games and Paralympic Games representatives:

Powell pedals to Paralympics

Evan eyes more Paralympic gold

Reardon races to Paralympic debut

Angie's second Olympic adventure

Rocket Roberts launches to London

Sally set for second Olympic swim

Michael prepares for Paralympic performance

Peacock flies into Olympic Games debut