Games volunteer an inspiration to others

Perth-based Games volunteer Elizabeth Edmondson is a champion swimmer, experienced marshal and respected disability advocate. Photo supplied.

Perth-based Games volunteer Elizabeth Edmondson is a champion swimmer, experienced marshal and respected disability advocate. Photo supplied.

She is no stranger to devoting her time to others but this week will be the first time 68-year-old Elizabeth Edmondson has volunteered at an Australasian Police and Emergency Services Games.

Elizabeth is looking forward to being a marshal at the swimming events in Mandurah.

“I love volunteering because it’s great fun and you get to meet a lot of people,” she said.

After contracting polio as a child, Elizabeth was a talented swimmer who went on to win medals in the Summer Paralympics and more recently in masters events.

She said her role at these Games in Mandurah was in one way “repaying the favour” a police officer did for her when she was a teenager.

“Before I was in a wheelchair I walked very slowly and I was crossing a road in town but the light had turned red before I got to the other side. This policeman slowed down and walked slowly beside me until I got across to keep me safe – the cars would have to run him over first before they ran me over,” she said, adding that small act of kindness remained a treasured memory several decades later.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth said her self-proclaimed title “lady of the ramp” referred to her work as a disability advocate.

“If I see steps but no disability access, I lobby councils or the relevant authorities to get facilities,” she said.

Elizabeth urged spectators to turn out in force for what would no doubt be some exciting swimming events.