Why blindfolded Kyra is so inspirational

Ipswich and District Athletic Club competitor Kyra Domrow.


HIGH achiever Kyra Domrow is the first to admit having to wear a blindfold provides an extra challenge.

Given she deals with a genetic sight loss condition, that may sound strange.

But it’s a credit to the delightful Ipswich and District Athletic Club competitor that she remains as positive as she can about her sport.  Even with other setbacks along the way.

Domrow, 19, won her ambulant discus (29.77m) and shotput (9.94m) events at the recent Queensland Open Championships at the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre.

While hoping for better efforts, the former Ipswich Adventist (Brassall) and Sacred Heart (Booval) student took it all in her stride.

“It wasn’t my best but considering the weather we had, it was pretty good,” she said.  “My discus was below average for me but my shotput was okay.”

In one of the toughest competitions of the season, she had to make another adjustment as she propelled her implements from the circle.

“I’ve been competing blindfolded now as well so that’s been a change,” the Sippy Downs-based competitor said.

“For a lot of other people it probably wouldn’t (hamper them) but with me, it just gets rid of that little bit of sight that I have.

“For me, it’s more of a disadvantage when I’m throwing.”

At primary school, Ipswich-born Domrow used to compete against athletes with full sight.

However, as her vision deteriorated aged 13, she found it difficult to keep up with them.

Being in a club like Ipswich’s has allowed her to pursue her athletics dream better.

She joined the Bill Paterson-based club after a stint in Bowen when her family moved north.

She’s happy to be back in the Ipswich area where she’s concentrating on her throws after earlier contesting the 100m and long jump events.

“I got junior national records for that for my classification,” she said.

“But it got to that point where you had to pick whether you were going to be a thrower or a runner or a jumper.  I picked throwing.”

That was two years ago, coinciding with joining the Ipswich club.

Domrow is preparing for her next national events at Carrara from February 15-18, as part of the Commonwealth Games selection trials.

“I’m not too stressed about results,” she said.

“I just want to be able to perform with the blindfold on, under pressure.

“This is my relaxing season and next season we’ve got the qualifiers for Beijing for the worlds.”

She has previously impressed at state and national level, holding records in her disciplines.

Her persistence was tested last year when she was chosen in the national team for the world Paralympics titles in London before her qualifying classification was changed.

She rated that a “low point” in her athletics career.

“That really hurt,” she said.

“It’s been hard.  I’ve been knocked down a few times.

“Every time I seem to be making progress something goes wrong.  But if you let that get to you, you aren’t really going to go any further.”

With much appreciated support from her parents and club coach Mick Moore, Domrow has soldiered on.

“Mick said ‘come on, we’ve got to keep going’,” she said.

“He’s has been fantastic.  He’s awesome.

“He’s helped me improve so much and I probably wouldn’t be where I am without him.”

Domrow also has a seeing eye dog Esme, helping her get around.