My name is Matt Levy, I am 28 years old. I was born 15 weeks premature and as a result suffer from a number of disabilities, many of which have been life threatening. I have had 52 operations since I was born. I am legally blind and have cerebral palsy but this has not stopped me from actively participating in swimming.
My parents encouraged me to swim early in life to improve my health and co-ordination. Due to the bleed on my brain in my early years I was very delayed with all my gross and fine motor skills so learning to swim was extremely hard but I am not one to be deterred by obstacles, it simply makes me strive harder.
Swimming has provided me with an avenue to keep fit, a chance to be successful and most importantly a future as I have struggled with ongoing disabilities and illness.
With a lot of very hard training and dedication from my family I was selected for the Athens Paralympics in 2004 whilst still in high school, which for me was, as for any disabled athlete, a major and exciting achievement.
I have now represented Australia in three Paralympics, five World Championships and am training very hard for the next Paralympics in Rio in 2016. I still want to do better than I already have. So far I have won six Paralympic medals and 10 World Championship medals.
Some other achievements I am particularly proud of include:
-In the top 2 in the world for 4 events in my disability category (S7)
-I hold a number of swimming records - Australian, world and age.
-Australia Day Ambassador for the NSW Government
-Ambassador for Life’s Little Treasures
-Part of the leadership group of the Paralympic swim Team
-OAM for services to Paralympic swimming
For my family there have been considerable costs in working towards my goal of representing Australia in the Paralympics.
In the lead up to Rio, there are a number of swimming meets that I have attended and three more that I have been selected for next year– each of which costs substantial sums of money for travel and accommodation. In addition I have swimming training fees, and other related fitness maintaining costs such as Pilates, yoga, massage to mention a few.
This is difficult to maintain without additional outside financial support from organisations such as yours. This is why I am writing to you to seek your assistance. I am prepared to make my self available to help with your promotions in return for your assistance and I am sure you will receive superb value for money.
Matthew Levy OAM
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