How it all began

Hey Everyone, 

You are probably thinking “Oh no not another athlete starting a blog” 

However, I thought it might be nice for everyone to see how I got into racing plus you get to enjoy my sense of humour 😁.

Let’s get into it… my name is Karla Severino and I’m a wheelchair track athlete from Geelong.

Image one: Karla looking cool in her shades. It’s proven that good sunglasses make a better racer!!

All my life I have been an adrenaline junkie, whether it be horse riding, wheelchair basketball, or abseiling down a cliff (sorry Mum!). I haven’t let my Cerebral Palsy stop me from achieving what I put my mind too. 

It was September 2015 when I was introduced to the world of Wheelchair Track Racing from wheelchair basketball. There is only so many hits to the face from a basketball one can toleratehence the change of sport plus, ball sports aren’t really my thing,

For those who don’t know what racing chair looks like, here is me in action on the track

Image two: Karla putting the power down. Note the cool shades!!

Anyway, it took 4 people to assist me in getting into the chair (sorry guys) and turns out I was too big for the chair, don’t worry I ended up getting a different chair. I remember completing my first few sessions and sending my coach photos of the large bruises on my arms. Feels like a lifetime ago now.  

Fast forward to October 2016 and I was now more confident and healthier I raced my first road race it was only 6kms but at the water station I asked a fellow competitor how much further to go and she informed me that we were only halfway through. I was buggered!

In 2018 I discovered my favourite road race of the year which is always the Great Ocean Road Running Festival 14km Paradise Run in Apollo Bay, Ocean one side, Countryside the other and one killer hill, amazing going downhill, coming back up the hill not so much… #feeltheburn!

Wheelchair Racing it is definitely a love hate relationship.

Some days you love the wind in your hair, the speed and power.

Other days your about to crack it because your cold, sore and want the session to end especially in the middle of winter. 

But in the end the blood sweat and tears are worth it…and we will get into that blood, sweat and tears over more posts!!

Please let me know what topics you would like me to address in future posts.



Technology as a training tool

Last Saturday I had an opportunity to test out some technology with local Paralympic athlete Sam MacIntosh.

I was introduced to the Push Band technology at Illinois Wheelchair Athletics last year and have been getting to know it more in my personal training.

Traditionally these are used in a gym setting measuring velocity and power and are a fantastic tool for coaches to adapt trading to better suit the athlete and their goals.

I was investigating if the unit could capture data during the push (focusing on the start phase) in a racing wheelchair.

I looked at to placement points for the band, above the elbow and below, and had Sam replicate a race start a dozen times.

We got some data and video and it all looks good so far. Now I just need to work out what it means and how we can translate that in the gym!

Stay tuned