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An interview with Rina Aufglan, a swimming superstar who has special needs.

Posted: 19-Feb-2015 by All Abilities

Introducing Rina Aufglan

I'm Rina Aufglan. I've got special needs. I turned 50 on 22nd December, 2014. I was born in 1964. I have been actively involved in swimming with the Special Olympics Melbourne. In the past, I have also been involved with the Maccabi Swimming Club. One day, I would like to be able to go back to Israel to the Maccabiah Games and swim. 

The Interview with Rina

Can you please tell us about your latest incredible swimming success?

My latest swimming achievement was a John Hooper Award nomination for 'Athletes Club Award: Acquatics 2014', given to me by Michael Henderson, the Chairperson Special Olympics Melbourne Southern 23rd November, 2014. 

The IIC Camberra Swimming Club nominate people but they are not allowed to tell the swimmers. However the Special Olympics Association Victoria can known. It's all kept confidential. 

How did you feel when you received this award?

It was an absolute honour and a surprise to achieve it. I felt like I was on cloud nine becuase I wasn't expecting it. It was such a shock and a surprise. 

Is there anyone you would like to dedicate this award to?

I'm dedicating this award, in honour of my late grandparents and in memory of my late Buba's Buba and Zaida on my mothers side.

Why do you think you were nominated for this award? 

I started mentoring a second group, to help them build up their level division coordination  and skills and to get them onto a higher level of speed and ability. 

Where did you recieve this award? 

I was presented with this award at the Chelsea RSL at a luncheon I was at. The lunch was held for their breakup party presentation.

Have you received any other significant awards in the past?

In Canberra last year I won '2013 April Competitions, Canberra Swimming Competition'. That was also very special because there was 400 athletes that went and it was the first time they competed in Canberra and were accepted into the Australian Institute of Sport. We actually stayed in the Olympic Villages and met the real Olympic swimmers that train and compete in some of their major events before they go overseas and compete in International Games. 

Who are your favourite swimmers?

I have met Alicia Coots, Bronty Campbell and Kate Campbell in person. They are just a delight. They were warm and lovely people. 

Who is your biggest inspiration and motivates you to keep swimming?

One of the people was Matt Walsh who does backstroke. The other person would be Lisa Kenney. She is a free-styler I think. 

What is your long-term goal and big swimming dream?

I would like to be able to go back to Israel and go back to Maccabiah Games and swim. 

Do you have any messages you would like to share with our members at Maccabi Victoria All Abilities?

I am glad that able-bodied people are starting to realise that they have to give special needs people a chance to integrate in life and join. I am glad that they are starting to open their doors and give them the opportunity to help them and support them in every aspect possible. 

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