Beverly Hills resident Ellen Maher has been congratulated by Georges River Council for winning three gold medals at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.
The Special Olympics were held March 8 to 21 and saw 7,000 athletes with an intellectual disability from 170 nations competing across 24 sports in front of half a million spectators.
Georges River Council provided financial support of $200 towards the cost of Ellen attending the Special Olympics World Summer Games.
Ellen approached the council in February requesting financial assistance to travel to the games the following month.
The council approved this under its Quick Response Donations policy, in accordance with its overall Grants, Donations and Sponsorship Policy.
An artistic gymnast, Ellen performed on the vault, uneven bars and beam, and did a floor routine at the games.
She achieved fourth place for the vault, Bronze for the uneven bars and Gold Medals for the Beam, Floor Routine and for her overall performance.
She attended last Monday's council meeting with her parents Paul and Claire to personally thank the council.
Georges River mayor, Kevin Greene officially congratulated Ellen in a Mayoral Minute tabled at the council meeting.
"Ellen demonstrates what is attainable with dedication, perseverance and the support of family, friends and the Georges River community," Councillor Greene said.
Ellen has worked hard at gymnastics since she was only five years old, according to the Special Olympics website.
When Ellen was in kindy, her parents saw the importance of her being included in exercise for fun and fitness, according to the website.
Netball was one sport they tried. But as Ellen got older, the opportunities for her became so limited she could no longer join in.
Thankfully a local gym ran a squad for children with disabilities where Ellen could begin developing some skills.
Her passion for gymnastics really took off when she started taking part in competitions with others of similar abilities as a member of Special Olympics.
"I am proud that my gymnastics has improved over the years," says Ellen.
"If I didn't do gymnastic, my life would be very different and not as good.
"At the World Games in Abu Dhabi I felt happy, proud to be representing Australia," says Ellen."