Rivals now on same team get support for nationals
YOU would be hard-pressed to find two keener competitors than Ariana Carter and Chloe Baldwin.
The girls, who attend Currimundi Special School, have both been keen swimmers since they were babies and love nothing better than facing off against each other in the pool.
This year, they will get to pit their skills against swimmers from around the nation.
The swimmers, both 14, will represent Queensland at the Special Olympics National Games 2014 in Melbourne from October 20 to 25.
But the trip will not come cheaply, with each girl's family needing to raise $3500.
Thankfully, some helpers have chipped in to lend a hand.
Over 45s men's ocean swim team The Stunned Mullets, with help from the Caloundra Community (Bendigo) Bank, handed over a cheque for $200 to help the girls on their way.
Chloe's grandmother Sue Brady said the girls' excitement was starting to mount.
"I think the realisation happened when they were trying their uniforms on," she said.
Mrs Brady said Chloe, who was born with Down syndrome, loved to compete.
"She likes the chase, she likes the racing, she likes the competition," Mrs Brady said.
"We are very proud of them and we keep pushing the girls."
Ariana's mother Rebecca Carter said her daughter, born with a rare disorder known as Williams syndrome, enjoyed the social interaction swimming brought to her life.
The girls train with the Caloundra Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre Bronze Squad four days a week.
Since their first dip in the ocean in 2001, the Stunned Mullets have raised more than $100,000 for children with special needs.
To support Chloe and Ariana, phone Rebecca Carter on 0409 626 674.