Strength, passion and determination have made Paralympian Rae Anderson one of the Central Coast’s most accomplished athletes. Born with cerebral palsy, the Wamberal local has competed internationally in shot put, discus and javelin and is now training in alpine skiing, with dreams of being a winter Paralympian. We interrupt Anderson’s training to find out why this rising star will always call the Central Coast home.
What do you love most about the Coast?
“I love our beaches and waterways. When I'm travelling for training or competition, I miss the water so much... I'm always happy to be home. I love hearing the water when I fall asleep, whether it's the waves at the beach near my house, or the water lapping against my little sailing boat hull. I really love seeing Ploddy the yellow dinosaur on the freeway; that's when I know I'm nearly home again.”
What's a normal day on the Coast like for you?
A typical day involves training at my local gym or at one of our beautiful beaches or fields. I love to do runs at Terrigal Haven, up the Skillion or on the football oval. I mix it up with runs up the stairs at Bateau Bay beach before a swim. I am lucky that I get to work from home most of the time, and it's not often that we have bad weather, so I simply set up a home office outside in my backyard or in my dining room within my sailing boat located at Hardys Bay. Our beaches are great to watch the sunrise from, but they are also great at night with friends, music and a picnic blanket with snacks after a day of work.
Where is the first place you take a friend visiting the Coast?
I have hosted friends from university (who are) from Indonesia, so the Australian Reptile Park was an essential stop to see some kangaroos up close. We then run to the top of the Skillion (at Terrigal), or check out one of the five local national parks. Little Beach on the Bouddi Peninsula is a nice and easy hike and Somersby Falls is great for an adventure, especially when it's a rainy day.
What are your top three go-to outdoor experiences - without spending a dollar?
I love anything to do with the water. My favourite beach ever is Wamberal Beach; I love the waves but it is not always to everyone's taste as they are a bit bigger than Terrigal. I also love Lobster Beach, as I often sail there, but you can easily hike over the mountain to get there too. It's well worth the ocean views and swim afterwards.
Where would you recommend for a great cocktail?
The beery (Florida Beach Bar) and Mumbo Jumbos in Terrigal do amazing cocktails, and even jugs of Sangria or Pimm’s to share with friends. The Sangria is a big go-to for myself and friends – when I'm not training, of course!
Speaking of training, what's your favourite local sporting facility?
I love to cycle for training. I like to stay off the roads and I'm lucky that the Coast has some great cycling tracks. I cycle around Davistown, Long Jetty, The Entrance, all over and I can always see the water near me.