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If Rebecca McDonnell has her way, she’ll be having a ball in London next year. But it’s not about getting into party mode. Far from it.

For this dedicated athlete and the newest YoorallaSTAR, the only ‘ball’ on her mind is the one used in Table Tennis. She is currently working on a game plan that will see her represent Australia in the sport at the 2012 Paralympic Games.

At 24, Rebecca is a seasoned athlete who has already achieved distinction at the World Championships in Switzerland in 2006 and South Korea in 2010, and at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.

She intends to eclipse all of this next year.

“I was interested in ball sports when I was little but had difficulties in playing most of them until my Physical Education teacher suggested I try Table Tennis,” Rebecca said.

“I started playing at the Croydon and District Table Tennis Association when I was 12 years old and played in my first tournament for Athletes With a Disability in Sydney when I was 16.

“My first International Tournament was a year later in Malaysia where I won a Bronze medal in Female Class 6.”

Rebecca was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at a very young age. It was also discovered that she had hemianopia and epilepsy. Challenging enough, but her determination to succeed in life never wavered.

In 2008 she received a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education from Deakin University, where she is currently completing a Bachelor of Education.

Rebecca and her husband Dominic live in the Melbourne suburb of Ringwood East. We will be following her progress to the Paralympics with anticipation.

NB: YoorallaSTAR is the name of Yooralla’s Celebrity Ambassador Program.