Australian Paralympian Brant Garvey dropped in to Launceston Church Grammar School

INSPIRE: West Australian Paralympian Brant Garvey talks with Launceston Church Grammar students Lachlan Stedman, Will Barber, Jet Witte and Sophie Breward. Picture: Paul Scambler.
INSPIRE: West Australian Paralympian Brant Garvey talks with Launceston Church Grammar students Lachlan Stedman, Will Barber, Jet Witte and Sophie Breward. Picture: Paul Scambler.

Australian paralympian Brant Garvey has failed more times than he can count.

But, he has also achieved greater heights and overcome more challenges than most able-bodied people.

Garvey, an above-the-knee congenital amputee, wants to send one message to all the audiences at his motivational speeches – that it is ok to fail.

That message was delivered loud and clear to Launceston Church Grammar Year 11 students on Thursday.

“You might not ever be the best, but you can always improve to be your best,” he said.

Garvey’s appearance at the school was ahead of his participation on a speakers panel for the Success with Attitude event held at Launceston’s Country Club on Thursday night.

He said his life and its experience could be split down the middle, before 2013 and after.

“2013 was when I started running,” he said.

Garvey has achieved significant success since he started running: he was the first Australian paratriathlete to participate in the Paralympics in 2014-17, has won the World Paratriathlon Championships in 2014-15 among other notable achievements.

Garvey said he never thought he would be able to run, being an above-the-knee amputee, but had determination to try and succeed.

“I wanted to try and find the hardest thing I could and that’s how I found running and triathlon,” he said.

No stranger to the Tasmanian triathlon scene, Garvey has raced in the Devonport Triathlon.

“It’s my perfect race really, I do a lot better in cooler conditions.”

However, he admitted the swim could sometimes be “rough.”

A West Australian native, Garvey said he loved Tasmania and enjoyed training, racing and speaking in the state.

He said he particularly enjoyed speaking at schools.

“School was a confronting time for me, I had no idea what I wanted to do, there were so many options,” he said.

“So to be able to give kids that perspective, is great; to encourage them to challenge themselves.”

High school students can be hard to engage but Garvey encourages questions at the end of each speech.

He said he encouraged as many questions people had about his prosthetic.

“It’s what makes me unique, and it’s my point of difference.”

Garvey’s next race will be the Edmonton Triathlon in Canada.

He is also training for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.