BRI Ferrier is proud to sponsor Julie Charlton through the Sport and Tourism Youth Foundation (formerly the John Brown Foundation).
Julie is an outstanding 16-year-old wheelchair athlete from Dural NSW whose dream is to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
She already holds many international rankings in the under-18-year-old category, T54 classification, including 1st for the 10km road race, 2nd for 1500m, 3rd for 800m, 4th for 400m, 5th for 200m and 7th for 100m. She also holds Australian age group records in the discus and shot put events.
Julie’s passion for track and field athletics began when she competed with her able-bodied classmates at a school sports carnival.
As she explained to journalist Warren Thomson for a Hills Shire Times article:
“I was doing a 100m race because my discus had been cancelled and (Paralympian) Rosemary (Little) was there to watch another wheelchair racer.”
“I came last in my race but she came over to me and said ‘if you can do that in your day chair, I’d like to see how fast you go in a track chair’.
“I didn’t know who she was until I got home.”
This encouragement, along with that of Little’s fellow Paralympian Angela Ballard and coach Louise Savage, has inspired Julie to reach for the top.
In the meantime, when her school recently honoured its sports achievers, Julie was given so many awards she couldn't carry them all and had to have help.
That night, on her Facebook page, she wrote:
"To Dream is to Succeed!!!! Today my school held their Annual Sport Presentation of Awards which is usually a night event but it was changed so that the school could help celebrate the achievements of the athletes of the school!!! I went into it knowing that I would get an award for athletics and for representing the school. Little did I know that it would be much more than that!! To my surprise, I had both mum and dad there to see me, dad had taken the afternoon off work to come and watch. When I was called to get my award, I saw there was a lot more than I was expecting!! I received two Combined Independent School Outstanding Sporting Achievement medals, my full athletics colours and my honour colours for my commitment to athletics, the AICES multi class athlete of the meet and my representative medals for CIS,State and Nationals!!! This was a wonderful surprise and I had to have people hold them all so I could get down the stairs of the stage. If this wasn't enough, at the end of each presentation of awards, they present the Athlete of the Year award to two people in each group: Junior, Intermediate and Senior. My wonderful sporting friend who I shared the intermediate award with last year Ethan received it again this year and I couldn't be more proud of him!!!! I was already excited to see that he won when I heard them call out the nominees for the senior award and my name came up!!! I was really hoping to get it this year and I was really honoured to be nominated with an amazing athlete that I was up against!!! Then I heard my name. I haven't stopped smiling since then and I am in shock as in previous years this award has been given to Australian Hurdler Michelle Jenneke and even Australian Singer Delta Goodrem!!! I want to thank all my teachers for always supporting me and for giving me this wonderful honour."