Photo by: Austris Augusts
From March 9 through March 11, the Brock track and field team is set to compete in the U Sports Championship taking place in Saskatoon, Sask. All of the best athletes will be competing for what could be the highest accomplishment in their sporting career thus far.
But not Amanda Rummery, who is a paralympic athlete who currently runs at the University of Alberta. She is one of the best Women’s Para runners in Canada as she currently holds the Canadian record in the T46 100, 200, and 400-metre races.
Rummery was not always a runner. Prior to her 18th birthday, Rummery was a very hardworking high school student growing up in Kenora, Ontario. Just a few days prior to her birthday, while riding around on ATVs with her friends, she sustained a brachiosaurus spinal cord injury and lost all movement in her left arm from the shoulder down.
After three years of multiple failed procedures and doctors telling her that she would regain movement in her arms she made the decision to amputate it.
“I’ve never regretted it. It was a really freeing experience and it helped me move on from the accident, but also dramatically improved my quality of life” said Rummery.
The accident opened a new chapter in her life. She had never run track and field prior to the accident and when scrolling through opportunities one day, she found one with the University of Alberta.
“I started training with a Para-group out of the University of Alberta. I never half-assed anything in my life so if I was going to do it, I was going to give it my all. I started training full-time and made that my main focus, and I am very proud and happy with what I have accomplished in the last few years.”
Amanda has her dad to thank for the positive mindset that she carries with her every day.
“I credit all of my work ethic and who I am as a person to how I was raised and being in a tough love environment. My dad always kept me humble. He was not always there to say that he was proud of me and that he loved me, but he showed it in different ways, and that speaks volumes for me. I’ve had people in the community come up to me and say that my dad talks non-stop about me to them, and I think that is his way of keeping me humble so that I want to work harder,” said Rummery
But to think that she is this unstoppable force with no flaws is not what she wants people to think.
“I definitely needed support from others when I first started running and that is why my team at the University of Alberta was so important to me. They kept me motivated along with my coaches who continue to help me grow every day while training. But I think it also comes back to my original philosophy of no excuses. Whatever you are going through you have to be resilient and show yourself that you can do what you set out to accomplish”
Rummery has persistently done that since she started her track and tield career. She now focuses on the 400-metre sprint event and has represented Canada on many occasions including the 2019 World Para Athletics Championship in Dubai where she debuted and finished ninth in her heat. Since then she has drastically improved as she currently ranks third in the world heading into the world championship in July 2023.
Rummery has a promising career ahead of her, and to think, just a few years ago, she’d never run track.