Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

School Visit a Masterstroke; World Champion Swimmer Inspires Kids at Pottsville

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

School Visit a Masterstroke; World Champion Swimmer Inspires Kids at Pottsville

Article excerpt

MATTHEW Abood returned to Pottsville Beach Public School a world champion yesterday, ready to inspire the children sitting where he had just 15 years earlier.

The 25-year-old was the perfect speaker to launch the school's You Can Do It learning program.

His journey to gold as part of the Australian 4x100m freestyle relay team at the World Swimming Championships in Shanghai last month showed a strength of character the teachers hope to instil in the young students.

In the coming weeks the children will learn about words such as resilience, perseverance, confidence, organisation, team work and success a all things Abood needed to excel in the tough world of competitive swimming.

With mum Jill, who is a teacher at the school, plus dad Tony and brother Andrew in the audience, Abood talked about his low point of not making the Australian swimming team last year, and revealed a back injury had almost forced him to pull out of the Shanghai event.

He said his failure at the 2010 Australian titles had made him avery sada, but also hungrier to get back there. …

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