Amputee Tilda Brownlow is taking inspiration from the international competitors arriving in Sydney for the Invictus Games for wounded veteran and active service personnel.
When she’s doing Nippers down at her local beach, Tilda Brownlow is quick to point out she can stomp on bluebottles without feeling a thing.
And when she is running around barefoot at her local sports field, she’s happy knowing bindi-eyes only cause her half as many problems as it does for her team mates.
The fact that Tilda, a student at Harbord Public School, sees more positives than negatives in having a prosthetic leg says a lot about this 12 year old.
Tilda was born with fibular hemimelia and at the age of two, had to have her left leg foot amputated. Despite that loss, her parents say Tilda has been running the family off its feet ever since.
Next week Tilda will be one of more than 6000 school students taking part in the Department of Education’s Invictus Game’s Program which includes on-line interactive modules and virtual reality events.
Her school will also attend some of the Invictus Games events at Olympic Park, where they will meet with the athletes, take part in some exclusive workshops and get to tour ANZ Stadium and surrounding venues.
Although she swims, runs and plays soccer Tilda said she was most excited about seeing the wheelchair basketball when her school attends the Sydney Invictus Games.
Parents Dave and Margie Brownlow said sport was one of Tilda’s great loves.
“She’ll have a go at anything and when she doesn't find it easy, she still finds a way,” Mr Brownlow said.
“Each year she takes up her position on the 200-metre starting line at Harbord Public School’s athletics carnival and each year she crosses the finishing line with a big grin.”
Tilda has represented her school in the pool and on the track, at zone, regional and state level.
While it is the participation rather than the competition that she enjoys most, Tilda will admit to being a little proud of the collection of medals that sit on top of her bookcase at home.