What Our Greatest Paralympian Will Take From the Pool to Parliament
Matt Cowdrey made a name for himself wearing swimsuits but is now donning a proper suit in a bid to become a member of Parliament.
He’s a decorated Paralympian, with 23 Olympic medals a long list of world records to his name, all achieved with a congenital amputation at his lower left arm.
After retiring from professional swimming, Cowdrey wanted to broaden his horizons and explore other opportunities outside of the pool.
He told PickStar's Off-Field podcast he wanted to continue making an impact after his sporting career.
“I see politics as an opportunity to make a difference," Cowdrey said.
"Whether that be finding a way to help somebody with fixing a curb or a gutter or whether you look at the bigger, more impactful things from a state perspective.”
But when it comes to winning over his local electorate and "talking himself up", the job is much different to being an athlete.
“As an athlete, you let what you do in the water and how you carry yourself do the talking for you," he said.
"So, actually having to look inside and try and articulate what you stand for, I actually think is quite a difficult thing. Particularly from the point of moving from sport to politics, it changes from the fact that you have to be so inwardly focused to very outwardly and be able to succinctly demonstrate what you stand for.”
Cowdrey still holds onto all that swimming has taught him through his journey. He believes that goal setting is the best way to measure performance no matter what field you’re in.
“No matter what you do, whether it be through business, whether it be through sport, whether it be through politics, the best way to get an outcome is make sure that you measure yourself along the way," he said.
"And that you set yourself goals and that you set yourself benchmarks and points in time where you assess how you’re going, and that’s the only way that you can assure that you’ve got a consistent effort across a period of time.”
Cowdrey says that sport shaped him into who he is today.
"I learned the value of hard work through sport, I learned respect and integrity and those things through sport, I learned that you can’t take shortcuts through sport," he said.
"What I did from an early age certainly did in many ways shape my personality and shape my beliefs and shape my value system and sport ,has given me a lot in many respects.”
Off-Field focuses on the world of sport outside of the arena with the people who make it happen. It's more than just a podcast. We host regular meet-up events and live interviews for people interested in the world of sport outside of the arena.
The Off-Field podcast is produced by PickStar, the best place to book sports stars for any event, campaign or engagement you can imagine. Choose from over 700 stars past and present, PickStar works fast with ANY budget. Find out more.