Brendal Hall world record – gold medal

Not only did Brendan Hall win the final of the mens 400m freestyle S9 and break the world record; he did it convincingly. Brendan swam a well judged race. His early pace avoided any excess build up of lactic acid so he was able to power home in the later stages of the race.

Brendan was learning to swim at the Shapland Swim School Kallangur under the expert guidance of John Dommett when an adverse reaction to a bout of chicken pox resulted in Brendan loosing his right leg above the knee. After Brendan was released from hospital his parents bought him back to see John as Brendan wanted to continue swimming.

On the tenth of September 2001 Brendan wrote the following to John and Sally Dommett. “Dear John and Sally, I would like to thank you for teaching me how to swim. Over the years you have taught me lots about swimming. Thanks to you I have improved my swimming very much and I enjoy it so much. I will always remember you and the fun time Marcus and I have had in your classes. Thanks to my first coach Maybe one day I will swim for Australia. Love Brendan 2001”.

I know that while Brendan was fighting for his life in hospital both John and Sally were constant visitors and one of the first people outside of the family Brendan wanted to see was John. Just another reminder of how we, as swimming teacher/coaches, really play a major role in our pupils lives. So to John and Sally and especially to Brendan let me congratulate you all on being part of Paralympic history.

Chris Shapland.