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Imagine What We Can Do

Published Thu 27 Jun 2024

“Growing up, I didn’t have any sport available to me,” Leeson said.  

“In the country there’s no Para-sport let alone boccia. I would have to travel two hours to Orange and only did that a few weekends because it wasn’t a very big club.” 

The central western town is home to just over 1,000 people and now Leeson has a huge mural of herself, proudly cheering on the girl from Dunedoo.  

Leeson, who was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy when she was 18 months old, went on to make her Paralympic debut after only a year of competing in boccia. 

“My journey in Boccia has really been short in comparison to a lot of other people,” she said. 

“I learnt and basically got into boccia – I think it was around July or August of 2018 and then by May of 2019 I was at my first international event.  

“Going to Paris is giving me so many opportunities, to share the word about disabled sports and so much about boccia because it is such a small sport.” 

For Leeson, becoming a Paralympian is about more than the opportunity to represent her country; she wants to inspire others who have similar hopes and dreams.  

“One of my short-term goals for this year is to start a club to hopefully get some new players,” she said. 

“In the long term I really want to make a difference in the country and get out to regional areas. 

“I didn’t think boccia was going to be for me but look where I am now. You never know where life is going to take you, really.”