ANYONE who meets Joany Badenhorst knows she is destined for greatness.
Now the 18-year-old, who lost her leg in a horrific tractor accident in South Africa in 2005, has a chance to prove it.
She has been invited to be a member of the Australian Paralympic snowboarding team.
There is just one thing standing in her way – a new custom-made leg.
“I need a special leg that has to be engineered differently to accommodate the different pressures and angles of snowboarding,” she said.
“My first training camp will be held at the end of April and before that I need to buy all of my snowboarding equipment. It is an expensive sport. I am working as much as I can, but I won’t lie, it is going to be tough.
“I will eventually have to move to Jindabyne to be in the team.
“I would be one of only three Australian females competing.”
Prior to the accident, Miss Badenhorst was already a successful athlete and had won awards in high jump and dance.
When she moved to Australia she was identified as an athlete of serious potential and was committed to pursuing a career in athletics, despite her prosthetic leg falling off during the 100m race at the 2009 Paralympic Youth Games.
During the recent International Women’s Day luncheon hosted by The Area News, Miss Badenhorst was one of the guest speakers, with Griffith counsellor and Rotarian Lorraine Sutton moved by her story.
Mrs Sutton hopes Griffith residents will consider helping Miss Badenhorst in her efforts to achieve her dream.
“This is a girl the community should get behind,” she said.
“Her community spirit is definitely there and I believe if we can we should try and ease some of the financial burden.
“She is a young woman who has had an amazing impact on this town.
“She is so positive and such an inspiration. Maybe even some of the service clubs would consider helping her.”
n If you’d like to help Miss Badenhorst, call 0429 012776.