The incredible resilience of a local resident unwilling to let his disability prevent him from maintaining peak physical fitness has become the subject of a new art mural at Bathurst PCYC.
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Anthony Manvell has been wheelchair-bound for the last 13 years of his life after a dirt bike accident left him a paraplegic at just 24 years of age.
But Mr Manvell continues to swim at least a kilometre a day at the Manning Aquatic Centre, with his commitment to fitness in the face of disability inspiring local artist Stephen 'Sven' Rogers to immortalise him in a new artwork entitled 'No Days Off' out the back of Bathurst PCYC.
Mr Manvell said he was rapt to see a local artist take such a keen interest in his story.
"The swimming is a daily ritual for me. It's good to get out of the chair and having a swim to me feels like going for a walk," he said.
"You never think there's anyone taking a keen interest in what you're doing, so to see Sven's artwork has truly taken me by surprise."
Mr Manvell said he's motivated to swim every day in order to keep his fitness up to speed.
"I like to get out and do stuff with the kids, so the swimming keeps me motivated to stay fresh and active," he said.
Sven said he was inspired by Mr Manvell's unique swimming style, and wanted to immortalise his story to inspire others to persevere through adversity.
"The fact he swims a number of kilometres a day is remarkable for an able-bodied person, let alone someone confined to a wheelchair," he said.
"Anthony's passion for keeping fit and not letting his disability prevent him from staying in shape is really inspiring, particularly for young people who may feel disadvantaged by their circumstances."
Sven regularly works at the PCYC installing murals and running street art workshops with local children.
He hopes the mural will inspire more young people to aim high and never give in to defeat.
"When young people come to the Bathurst PCYC, they'll see this portrait of a young man in a wheelchair next to a swimming pool and may want to know more about its significance," Sven said.
"Anthony's story is an inspiration for anyone who feels like they're having a bad day...he had this life-changing accident, but it hasn't stopped him from achieving his goals, and I feel it's a very important message for local youth."
The mural is situated behind the Bathurst PCYC building, among a host of other street art created by Sven and local participants in his workshops.
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