Karlee, wearing a blindfold and running with a sighted guide, competes in a race with three other young women.

My name is Karlee and I am a 17-year-old blind sprinter in the sport of Track & Field. I compete for my state New South Wales, and I have also represented Australia.

Since starting two years ago when I was 15, I have broken many Australian records in the 100m, 200m, 400m, and 800m events.

I was born with Lebers Congenital Amaurosis and Macular Coloboma – two eye conditions that resulted in me being classified as legally blind.

When I was younger, I could see colour, light and shadows, as well as read large print. However, as I got older, my vision deteriorated and now I only have light perception.

I am proud to be vision impaired as it has allowed me to have a different outlook on life. I can appreciate much more and I just wish that everyone will be more inclusive, accepting and understanding of people with a disability.

As I compete as a para athlete, I have made so many amazing friends who also have a disability. I am aiming to represent Australia at the Paralympics, world championships and Commonwealth games one day.

Keep up with Karlee on Facebook at @Karlee Symonds Athlete and on Instagram at @KarleeSymonds.

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