Name: Alanah Maclaurin
Pursuit: Fencing (Epee)
Alanah is 15 years old and is a passionate fencer. She is currently ranked 5th in Australia for Under 17 Epee. Alanah only started fencing in 2010 when she had to find an indoor sport after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder which affects the skin and this prevented her swimming or participating in outdoor contact sport. Alanah also has a neurological disorder which causes some motor skills and learning difficulties, so when she was young her parents always encouraged her to swim and play team sport to help improve coordination and visual perception.
Her dream is to represent Australia at the Olympics. Alanah would also like to encourage more teenage girls to take up fencing as it is a male dominated sport in Western Australia. To this end she is learning to be a coach, in order to run some classes at her school for younger girls.
When did you start?
I first tried fencing in 2009 and started fencing regularly in 2010. Initially I fenced once a week during school term, but now I train 5 times a week for 1 1/2 to 3 hours each session, year round.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
The highlight so far was winning my first Australian National Medal for 8th place at my first Cadet (Under 17 Epee) National competition in July 2012.
What is your dream?
My dream is to represent Australia at an international level in Fencing, with my ultimate goal to compete for Australia at either the 2016 or 2020 Olympics and encourage more girls to take up fencing.
Who or what have inspired you?
I have been really lucky to have family and teachers who have believed in me and encouraged me.
Who's your hero?
I haven't found one yet
Any other special talents?
Don't think so, but maybe I'm yet to discover them
The Lion King
Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Favourite TV Show?
Avocado is probably my favourite food as I eat it most days for lunch, but I also love chocolate!
How the grant will help you/how will you use the money?
The grant will allow me to travel to competitions to improve my ranking and hopefully represent Australia overseas. In order to represent Australia, I need to improve my ranking by competing on the Australian Fencing Circuit. However, as I live in Perth, this is very costly as only 1 of the 6 annual events is held in Perth each year, so I’ll use the Grant money to assist with travel and accommodation costs for interstate National competitions.
Last words: Quote or Motto you live by?
If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?