Lemons to lemonade - how Marty made it happen.

Marty Jackson knows what it is like to experience the very highs of life.  And the lowest of lows. From pulling on the green and gold of Australia to the life-changing injury that destroyed his dreams of playing his chosen sport at an elite level - one that inadvertently presented him with an opportunity to represent his country at another.

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Little over three years ago, Marty was an aspiring American gridiron player, keen to show his fellow countrymen that the game could hold its own against the likes of AFL and soccer in his home state of Victoria.

But then came the freak tackle that ended forever the playing career of the founder of the successful Geelong Buccaneers gridiron team and threatened to leave him on the permanent sidelines of all sport.

Faced with a disability that left him paralysed below his left knee and needing two braces to walk, it would have been understandable if Marty had given up hope of ever competing in top-class sport again and resigned himself to life as a spectator.

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But, ever the optimist, Marty quickly came up with an idea to revive his dream and so set his mind to making it happen in a different way - this time as a para-athlete. "I was lying in the hospital bed about two days after my injury and I just thought this is what I needed to do," Marty recalls.

That germ of an idea idea turned out to be a chance to become an elite shot-putter and following his release from hospital Marty started on the long road of rehabilitation and training to see just how far he could take his new-found sport.

Success at local and regional level saw him then take a shot - literally - at national representation and supported with a loan that he took out with SocietyOne, Marty found himself competing for his country at the 2016 Oceania Melanesian Regional Athletics Championships in Fiji.

Not only that but he was also made captain of the combined able-bodied and para-athlete team - an honour which spurred him on to lead by example when he took out gold at his chosen event. It was one of the proudest moments of his life, he says. But he didn't stop there. Setting his sights further, Marty's next goal was to achieve the shot-putting lengths to earn qualification for the Australian team to compete at this year's World Para-Athlete Championships in London.

Earlier this month he was named as one of just five debutants in the 37-strong squad for the tournament in July. "It's such an awesome feeling, I'm absolutely stoked," he said of the news. For Marty, the determination and dedication to make something happen anew is paying off in a way that even he could only dream about. Now that dream is about to come true.

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SocietyOne says...

Good luck in London Marty, we're cheering you on from here!

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