She aspires to be a career swimmer and has already earned a few medals in the sport. Now St Bernard’s Catholic Primary Botany Year 4 student Taylor Walker-Lear will step out of the pool to become the youngest person to reach Mt Kosciusko’s summit on the Krazy Kosci Klimb.
The event is held by Cerebral Palsy Alliance and each team competes with a member who has Cerebral Palsy and a corporate sponsor.
Taylor, 9, was diagnosed with the condition at age 2. She will make the 18.6 kilometre trek with her father, Simon, mother Toni Elford, brother Kane (a student at Champagnat Catholic College Pagewood) and a team of four sponsors from accounting firm KPMG on February 20.
“I want to be an Olympic swimmer so I thought this would be a good opportunity to get fitter and to have another experience on land,” Taylor said. “I’ve done laps of Centennial Park and walking around home to prepare.
“I’m excited but a bit nervous about the climb because I don’t know what to expect. They’ve said sometimes it’s hot, sometimes it’s really cold. I hope I see snow.”
Taylor has raised more than $5,000 to surpass her fundraising goal of $1,500. The amount was matched by her corporate sponsors to give the team more than $10,700 for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s sport and recreation department. This supports children with Cerebral Palsy through gym and swimming programs and gym facilities.
Last year Taylor medalled in the 50 metre freestyle event at the NSW Catholic Schools Sports Association and placed seventh in the state. An age restriction was all that held her back from national competition.
Taylor will use a new walker for the trek. “It gives me more freedom than the other one,” she said. “It’s for more active people and has larger wheels which is good because there are all different stages, gravel, and rocks.”
Ms Elford said the family were all looking forward to the climb with Taylor and were grateful for the support they had received from their friends, school and broader community.
“We’re feeling very supported by so many different people,” Ms Elford said.
“It’s a first for all of us so I think it’s going to be a great experience for us as a family to do something quite difficult, and something to bond over as well.”
“Taylor was born 14 weeks premature, so the part of the brain that communicates to her legs and to her feet didn’t develop properly. Taylor loves the water and all of this training [for the climb] has improved her swimming tenfold.”
To sponsor Taylor on the Krazy Kosci Klimb visit: https://krazykosci.everydayhero.com/au/taylor-walker-lear