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Four-year-old Jessica meets athletic idols

Four-year-old Jessica with the Japanese Paralympic Track Team

​Sometimes, when you least expect it, magic happens. The combination of being at the right place at the right time, and a small gesture from a big-hearted staff member resulted in one very happy Gold Coast girl.

While signing in at the Runaway Bay Sports Centre, four-year-old Jessica, her mum and her siblings met Gold Coast Sports Centre staff.

Sports Super Centre staff member Barb Collins immediately took the opportunity to introduce Jessica, who has unilateral upper limb impairment, to the elite Japanese Paralympic Track Team who were training on site.

Not only did Jessica get to meet the professional athletes, she met young athletes with the same disability as herself.

Ms Collins said the life-changing moment for Jessica, and her mother, opened Jessica's mind up to a world of opportunities.

"From this experience the dream of being a high-level athlete now seems possible – hard work, perseverance and determination can get you anywhere," she said.

Jessica loved the encounter so much, she asked her mum to buy her new, fast runners to meet with the Japanese Squad for their Friday afternoon training session.

When asked how she felt, Jessica said: "it made me sore, tired and thirsty and very, very happy to run with people who have beauty spots."

The inspirational little girl says everyone has a beauty spot and that her little arm, is her beauty spot.

Japanese sprinter Sae Tsuji has the same unilateral upper limb impairment and when Jessica was asked how she felt about meeting Sae she said: "she is perfect!"

Visit Gold Coast Sports Super Centre for more information.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) ( )
Last updated
30 April 2019