Donnybrook’s Ty Howlett is a firm believer that anyone can do anything they want if they set their mind to it.
Proving the truth of that mantra was his goal when he travelled to Sydney to compete in the world’s first 24-Hour Enduro Obstacle Course Racing World Championships last month.
Mr Howlett, who lost his right arm in a car accident nine years ago, competed alongside fellow Australian Adaptive OCR teammate Mark Daniels to complete five laps of the gruelling 12km, 30-obstacle course.
He said the competition was a ‘brutal’ but ‘rewarding’ experience.
Mr Howlett said he first took up obstacle course racing when he came across a Facebook group created by Mr Daniels that was looking for ‘adaptive athletes’ to compete in a True Grit event in Donnybrook.
He said the aim of the group was to encourage athletes with disabilities to ‘define [their] own limits’.
“The social stigma around [disbailities] causes a lot of people to go into their shell. They don’t believe they have the ability to do things so they shut that part of their life off,” he said.
“What this group is about is building confidence and overcoming your own obstacles. It’s like a metaphor for life.
“It’s hard enough for able-bodied people to do these sort of events so we thought we’d give it a crack and prove that we can do it as well.”
Mr Howlett said the group had received a lot of support from fellow competitors during the race and helped ‘boost’ others to continue on when things were getting tough.
He said the group was now looking for community support and sponsorship to help grow the group.
“We’re looking for new members – we currently have half a dozen across the country – and we’re also looking for sponsorships to get people to events,” he said.
He said it was costly for the group to not only enter events, but to travel across the country to get there.
He said anyone interested in connecting with the group could find them on Instagram at @AustralianAdaptiveOCR or by joining the Facebook group ‘Australian Adaptive Obstacle Course Racers (AAOCR)’.