Travel sponsor keeps sprinter in the race

A Toowoomba para athlete nearly ran out of options to attend her regular Brisbane training until a generous business raced to help.

Crystal Pollard, 22, travels to Brisbane with her support worker every second weekend to train at the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre.

The professional training has paid off for the young sprinter, winning a silver in the 100 metre event at the State Championships.

Despite her success on the track, the ongoing travel costs had made Crystal and her family reconsider whether the training was still viable.

Toowoomba real estate agent Geoffrey Jordan became aware of Crystal’s dilemma through not-for-profit organisation YellowBridge QLD who provides her with weekly disability support.

Mr Jordan, who is the Principal of Century 21 Marsden Realty Toowoomba, in partnership with online property business realestate.com.au presented Crystal with a $1000 bursary to cover future travel expenses.

“When YellowBridge told us about Crystal’s plight we wanted to help her continue her training,” Mr Jordan said.

“She is such a dedicated athlete and is showing great promise on the track so it would be a real shame if she stopped just because she couldn’t afford the travel,”

Crystal, who lives with Cerebral Palsy, only started running when she was 16 after her teacher at Clifford Park Special School nominated her for the Darling Downs athletics trials.

She was reluctant at first but decided to give it a go and surprised herself by doing well.

“I never took part in athletics when I was younger because I didn’t think I would be good at it. Now I love it,” Crystal said.

“I train three times a week and do a combination of strength and running training. Sometimes I get nervous when I compete but mostly I am excited,” she said.

Mr Jordan is pleased the sponsorship will have tangible benefits for Crystal’s athletics hopes.

“We are very pleased that we could help Crystal in this way and she can immediately benefit from our support,” he said.

“She’ll have some extra members in her cheer squad from now on.”

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