My name is Jean-Paul LaFontaine and I compete in a paralympic sport called Boccia.
I am currently on the Australian Boccia team and are one of two Australian athletes (Dan Michel) heading to Beijing for the World Individual Championships in March. This is the final qualification event for the Rio Paralympics.
Shortly after this event in April, is the the Boccia World Open Event in Montreal, Canada which Dan and myself have been selected to compete in both individuals and pairs for Australia. This event is of huge importance to my overall goal of making top ten in the world (currently 37). Competing for the first time internationally just 3 years ago I feel my long term target of making the 2020 Paralympic games is on track but without opportunities like this to compete against the worlds best continually and regularly, it will make that goal all that bit more difficult. The success of myself and my team mates is of huge importance to the development of our sport for many boccia athletes in Australia.
We are so fortunate as athletes to have the opportunity to put on the green of Australia and shared dreams and goals with our outstanding committed coaches that continually support us.
We have been advised to compete at this event (Montreal), there will be a sizeable athlete contribution of $5,800 each ($11,600 collectivelly), covering the costs of flights and transfers, accommodation, registration and personal support needs.
Originally from Melbourne, moved to Brisbane for 8 years and last year I moved down to Sydney to give myself the best chance possible to get the training I need to be successful in my chosen sport.
My condition is Muscular Dystrophy (FSH) and use a wheelchair full time but I certainly don't let my condition dictate or define who I am.
I currently also work minimum 30 hours a week in the development of the sport of Boccia for Boccia Australia. On top of this, we are training up to and at times more than 20 hours a week.
Dan and I are committed to our sport and success for the green and gold and could not be more appreciative of your support.