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Dare to Dream Scholarship allows Oliver to dive deep

“I’ve achieved a lot since I was diagnosed but I’ve had to work twice as hard every day to do the things that most kids take for granted.”

Oliver Martin isn’t letting cancer get in the way of his dream to attend the 2024 Paralympics. The sixteen-year-old Queensland swimmer is one of eight inspiring young Australians to be awarded a 2022 Redkite and Coles Dare to Dream Scholarship.

Diagnosed with a brain tumor at only 18 months old, Oliver has had to fight for every achievement he has made. Today he represents Queensland in National swimming competitions and is determined to swim for his country in the 2024 Paris Para Olympics 

The Redkite and Coles Dare to Dream Scholarship was established to inspire young people whose physical or mental health has been affected by cancer, to achieve their goals and ambitions. This scholarship, funded by Coles, helps young people build their future and can be put towards education or life goals. 

When his cancer was first diagnosed, Oliver underwent a gruelling 10-hour surgery that took a serious toll on his body. Oliver developed Posterior Fossa Syndrome which meant he was unable to eat, stand, sit, speak or hold his own head up.  

‘’After the surgery, I had to stay at the hospital and have daily rehabilitation. Eventually, I was allowed to go home in a wheelchair. I was eating food through a bottle as I didn’t like the feeding tube up my nose. It took 6 months to learn how to hold my head up, and 2 years to sit up without needing support. 

I started swimming when I was 4 years old. I was unable to stand on my feet at the time but in the water, I could do so much more, ‘’ he said.  

Oliver and his swimming coach Mathew work hard every day to ensure Oliver’s Paris dream comes true.   

‘’Oliver is often the hardest working swimmer in the squad, pushing himself to the limit in the water. I look forward to working with Oliver each step of the way as he moves towards his goals and I will continue to provide him the support he needs to get there, ‘’ he says.  

Since 2013, Redkite and Coles have awarded more than $700,000 in Dare to Dream Scholarships to support young Australians whose aspirations and goals have been impacted by their cancer diagnosis. 

Learn more about the Redkite and Coles Dare to Dream Scholarship

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