For Duncan, winning has never been the driving force behind his love of the pool.

Since 2005, Duncan has attended the Annual Gunnedah Swimming Carnival resulting in a collection of close to 100 medals at home. Duncan is proud of his achievements “but he doesn’t go saying ‘I’m going to win’,” says Penny, Duncan’s aunty. “It’s the fact that he can be there with the others having fun.”

Duncan, 44, loves catching up with friends at the carnival, including his mate Malcolm who he first met as a child. That’s a friendship spanning more than 30 years.

Duncan’s sporting talent is clear for all to see, and was recognised at last year’s carnival when he picked up the Debbie Rowe Memorial Award for Sportsmanship.

“He always shakes everyone’s hand,” says Lyn, Duncan’s support worker. She adds that the pool staff and all the event’s supporters, including the Gunnedah Shire Council, really do go out of their way to make the event as enjoyable as possible for participants. “They are fantastic. They go above and beyond to assist us.”

Lyn says sportsmanship and camaraderie trump any competitiveness at the annual swimming carnival, which sees 150 swimmers involved in 50 events. “Whether someone wins or loses, at the end of the pool they pump their hands up in the air and cheer. It’s so rewarding.”

The annual swimming carnival allows people with a disability to come together in a community environment to participate in events and be rewarded for their efforts.

Over 130 people with a disability have registered to attend the event and come from various disability support services across New South Wales.

Challenge Community Services encourages all members of the community to come to this fantastic event and show your support for our local superstars. Entry to the event is free with morning tea and a sausage sizzle lunch provided.

For information about the Annual Gunnedah Swimming Carnival, visit our What's On page