Jubilant Jessie: Disability no obstacle for this student athlete

Our Lady of Victories (OLOV) Primary School, Shortland student, Jessie Forbes, triumphed in athletics this year, proving that being deaf needn’t be limiting.

Jessie, who has just finished Year 3, competed at PSSA (state) level this year in shot put, the 200 metre sprint and the 100 metre sprint. Competing in the Junior category, Jessie medalled at school, regional, diocesan and Polding levels before making it to PSSA (state) level. Jessie is deaf and competes with a disability: T01 for track and F01 for field.

Jessie has a cochlear implant that must be turned off for all events, meaning her balance is impacted when she competes. However, his doesn’t deter Jessie, who loves athletics, especially the 100 metre sprint. Instead of waiting for a gun to sound during her running events, Jessie is tapped on the shoulder when the gun goes off.  

“She loves to run, as she doesn’t need to interact as much with speech,” says Jessie’s mum, Lori. “Being involved in athletics is also great for Jessie as she has met lots of people and made great friends.”

Competing at Polding level athletics in September, Jessie came first in shot put, first in the 200 metre sprint and second in the 100 metre sprint.

Jessie then competed at PSSA level the following month at Homebush Olympic Park. “It was very exciting to compete at Olympic Park. There were so many people there,” says Jesse.

This is the first year Jessie has participated in any athletics, making this achievement even more impressive.

“The medals have a special spot at home in the glass cabinet,” says Lori.

“Jessie’s very proud of her achievements.”             

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Alyssa Faith Image
Alyssa Faith

Alyssa Faith was the Communications Manager for the Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle from 2016 - 2017 and a regular contributor to Aurora and mnnews.today.