Learning From The Best In The World

The Penrith Referee's Development Squad have recently undertaken a four week program titled, 'Connect, Converse, Change.' The program was devised to encourage the young up and coming match officials to take a look outside the world of rugby league and refereeing and instead consider perspectives of other athletes across various codes.

The program included a very special guest speaker, World Champion Swimming Record holder Sean Webber.

Sean (pictured here with the Penrith Referee's Development Squad) is an all-rounder. A sports enthusiast who refused to allow his disability to get in the way of life, having fun and living. From an early age, Sean was to fulfil his dreams of living life to the max. From Soccer during his childhood years to World Champion Swimming Record holder.

Here are some of Sean’s achievements:

  • Competitive Swimmer for over 12 years
  • Holder of 35 State Age Swimming Records
  • Holder of 34 Australian Swimming Records
  • 200m Short Swimming (Breaststroke) World Record held (2004 – 2008)
  • Winner of the Silver Medal in 2005, Swimming World Championships
  • South Western Region Sports Star of the year 2001
  • Young Australian of the year Award Nominee 1999 & 2000
  • Western Sydney Academy of Sport Squad Member
  • Member of the Paralympics preparation squad
  • International Day for people with a disability young community contributor award one of 20 finalist out of 295 nominations nationally
  • Rotary Youth Leadership Award Conference 2006 – 2010
  • Rotary Youth Leadership Award Conference Presenter 2010 – 2012
  • Rotary Youth Leadership Award Conference Advisor to East Timor 2010
  • Runner of Western Region Leg of the Queen Elizabeth II baton 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games

Sean is currently Program Director for Swimmers with Disabilities running a successful program since 2006 and is also Head of Swimming at Nepean Swim & Fitness since 2006.

Sean told his story to the squad, speaking of his multiple surgical procedures and setbacks to his Paralympics campaign. He spoke of what it is like living and training with a disability and working to overcome great difficulties to achieve goals.

This was an extremely beneficial session for the young squad members and the Association is very grateful to have had Sean as a guest.