Beaudesert athlete leads Queensland swim team

LOFTY GOAL: Multi-class swimmer Kiandra Cumberland won't give up until she's achieved her dream of reaching the Paralympics.

LOFTY GOAL: Multi-class swimmer Kiandra Cumberland won't give up until she's achieved her dream of reaching the Paralympics.

Superfish Kiandra Cumberland powered her way to a silver and two bronze at the National Swimming Titles held at the Hobart Aquatic Centre recently.

The multi-class athlete swam sensationally on her way to second in the 17 and 18-year-olds 50 metre freestyle and third in her favourite event the 100 metre butterfly.

She also shaved a chunk off her personal best time for the 100 metre freestyle to complete the medal haul.

The Beaudesert State High School year 11 student also had the honour of captaining the Queensland Swim Team in Tasmania.

The champion Queenslander, who trains at Southport Aquatics under the astute guidance of Erin McCarthy where she is the only multi-class competitor in the squad, said she was proud of her achievements.

“It was a fantastic result. There was ups and down throughout the meet but I tried my best and that is all that matters. It was an honour and a privilege to be team captain,” Cumberland said.

She said she didn’t like the water as an infant and would even scream during lessons but persisted and developed a love for the sport over time.

“It is such a fantastic sport,” she said.

“The more I’ve gotten used to it, I’ve gotten stronger and my times have improved.”

Now she’s been training seriously for seven years and is a veteran of 14 national titles at just 17.

GIVING BACK: Cumberland plans to become a swimming coach in the future.

GIVING BACK: Cumberland plans to become a swimming coach in the future.

From the get-go this inspirational teen has been a fighter. Cumberland was born 13 weeks premature at a weight of just 273 grams and she spent the first three months of her life in intensive care. As a result, she has a learning disability but she doesn’t let it impact on her life.

Instead, the inspirational teen chooses to be an example for others and aspires to reach the Paralympics.

“If I don’t make it, I’ll keep trying until I realise my dream, “ she said.

“Don’t give up, and see how far you can go. Never give up and keep going for your dreams.”

Cumberland thanked her parents and schoolmates for helping her to remain focused and motivated. Next year, she plans to become a registered international swimmer and enter the INAS World Games at Brisbane in October.

SPECIALIST: Kiandra Cumberland says her favourite swimming stroke is butterfly.

SPECIALIST: Kiandra Cumberland says her favourite swimming stroke is butterfly.