Yangebup weightlifter off to World Masters Games in NZ

Vicki McGrady hard at work. Picture: Jon Hewson         d466982
Vicki McGrady hard at work. Picture: Jon Hewson        d466982

IT is funny how one negative situation can open the door to something positive.

Yangebup’s Vicki McGrady was working as an abseiling instructor in May 2015 when she tore a rotator cuff in her shoulder.

Two years later, the mother of four, computer science graduate, scouts leader and wildlife carer is on the cusp of representing Australia at April’s World Masters Games in New Zealand.

“I didn’t take the injury seriously until I was practising a rescue in a local quarry and it finally went snap,” she said.

“It apparently takes a lot of pain before I’ll pay attention.”

Mrs McGrady’s quest to get back to full fitness put her in the path of Bob Pavone, head coach at Rockingham’s Olympifit gym, and the reason for the Yangebup mum’s quest for gold in New Zealand.

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“I knew after that first session that he knew his stuff. I just didn’t tell him that,” she said. “He was amazing.

“He not only had to contend with my physical injury and my impatience at wanting it better now, but also my constant psychological battle with my mind telling me I can’t do it because it will hurt.”

After taking part in an inter-gym weightlifting comp for a bit of fun, Mrs McGrady got a thirst for the sport.

“I kept plodding along at my gym sessions, then another inter-gym comp came up in October (2016) and I thought ‘why not?’” she said.

“After my last lift in that competition it was announced that I just qualified to enter the 2017 World Masters Games in New Zealand.

“I stood there on the stage aghast, much to the amusement of the crowd and my smug coach.

“I then went home and told my family. I think they were just as dumbfounded. And here I am today.”

Mrs McGrady will compete in the 90kg division of the 45-49 year-old age category.

“I am so unbelievably excited,” she said. “To be able to represent my country, however cliché that sounds, is an absolute life highlight for me.

“I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams to get this far. I just want to do my coach, family and country proud.”

Mrs McGrady, who was provided a $400 sponsorship from the City of Cockburn to help costs associated with the trip, will train six mornings a week in preparation for the competition, together with circuits of Manning Steps in Hamilton Hill in the evening.