When Amanda Reid made her international swimming debut, she really made waves. Competing at the 2011 Global Games in Italy, she took home a sensational seven gold medals. After being selected for the national team when she was only 14, she has been earmarked as a swimmer of serious potential. She again underlined this status with a haul of two silver and three bronze medals from the 2011 Arafura Games.
It was obvious from early on that Amanda was destined for big things in sport. Born with cerebral palsy, she tried out a range of sports through her formative years, including cycling, equestrian and athletics. When she was barely more than a toddler, Amanda was already extremely proficient at a sport of a different kind – short track ice speed skating. Phenomenally, Amanda fast progressed to become the first person ever to hold the Australian title, New Zealand title and all state titles in the one year for her age.
Amanda turned her focus towards swimming, under the tutelage of coach Jackie Barck. At just 15 years of age, she competed at the London 2012 Paralympic Games where she was fifth in the 100m breaststroke.
The following year she contested the IPC Swimming World Championships where she made finals in two of her four events. She was seventh in the S14 100m backstroke and seventh in the S14 200m individual medley.
In 2015 Amanda took up track cycling and after only a few months in the sport broke the Australian Para-cycling record for the C3 in the Individual Time Trial at the NSW Para-cycling Championships. Her time was just 0.15 seconds off the World Record.
She then went on to smash a five-year-old Australian record by five seconds when she won gold in the C2 3km individual pursuit at the 2015 Australian Para-cycling Championships.
“My Rio experience was so amazing. To be part of the cycling team and the whole Australian Paralympic team was incredible and to be able to get a medal in cycling after swapping from swimming it was like wow”.
In 2016 Amanda was awarded one of the five SAHOF Scholarships and provided with a fantastic mentor; Lousie Sauvage OAM.
“(Louise Sauvage) knows everything,” the five time world champion and world record holder said. “I met her when I was little and was doing athletics, and with her all experience and experiences she has so much knowledge.”
“I’m excited with the opportunity, it’s the first time I’ve had the chance to work as a mentor with the Sport Australia Hall of Fame scholarship program,” Sauvage said.
“I actually had the opportunity to meet Amanda in Rio, before we both knew that I’d been selected to be her mentor,” Sauvage said. “She did really well there and did a great job. To change sports is not easy and she decided what she wanted and went for it.”