Three teenage boys wearing blue and white sport jerseys.

Liam’s journey: Swimming like a pro

At the age of 6, Liam Togher embarked on a journey that would challenge perceptions about the limitations imposed by cerebral palsy and push the boundaries of what a child with CP could achieve.

Today, as a proud member of the NSW para-development swim squad, Liam’s story is an inspiring testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the unwavering support provided by Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA).

In a heartfelt interview, Liam’s mother shared her overwhelming pride in her son and his athletic career.

“He puts in the hard work. He swims 5-7 times a week in the pool and trains 1-3 times a week in the gym,” she said.

“But more importantly, I am delighted to watch him grow into a kind and compassionate young man with many talents and skills.”

The recent Swimming NSW Para Development Squad Camp played a pivotal role in shaping Liam’s athletic journey. The camp provided valuable insights into the pathway to the Paralympic Games that Liam has in his sights. Liam and his fellow swimmers worked with underwater cameras, focusing on turns, starts, and technique. They received guidance from World Champion Para-swimmer Tim Hodge, gaining skills and fostering camaraderie among the group.

CPA’s sports programs have been instrumental in helping Liam build his confidence and prepare for his budding athletic career. He began his journey as a six-year-old, playing soccer at CPA’s Allambie Heights gym.

Liam’s coach and Manager of Sports Development at Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Peter King, said Liam “impressed everybody with his friendly, positive, courteous and energetic personality. “

Liam Togher standing on top of a cliff by the water flexing his muscle.
Liam Togher wearing a swimming medal looking at the camera.

Liam explored various sports options through CPA’s programs until he found the one that resonated with him. Now, he trains weekly in an exercise physiology session with the therapist, who played a crucial role in his quick recovery after a major corrective surgery last year.

“Liam now trains with an able-bodied team with a coach that doesn’t let him make excuses, “ his mother said.

“He has to be in the pool at 5:30 am some mornings. Some days he has double training—before and after school. He has to dig deep to find that internal motivation. I think that sport keeps him balanced.”

Liam’s journey is a celebration not just of his achievements but also of the supportive environment fostered by CPA. Through dedication, resilience, and the right support systems, Liam has achieved remarkable goals, both in the pool and in his day-to-day life. At CPA, every child is encouraged to find their passion and explore their potential.

Despite the physical challenges posed by cerebral palsy, Liam has not only excelled in the pool but also maintained excellence in his academics. His commitment to both his athletic pursuits and schoolwork is a testament to his determination and strong support network.

Looking ahead, Liam’s year is filled with exciting prospects. In April, he heads to the Gold Coast for the National Age Championships, followed by All-Schools in May. June brings the Paralympic Trials in Brisbane, where he has already qualified for the 50m, 100m, and 400m freestyle events as an S9 swimmer.

“He’s got a great year ahead, “ Peter King said.

“He’s about to tackle climbing Mount Kosciusko to raise funds for a CPA event called Krazy Kosci Klimb. I’ve no doubt he’ll reach the peak and have an amazing time. “

Liam’s dream is to make it to the Dolphins—Australia’s National Squad—and eventually compete in the Paralympics. Watch this space.