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In 2008, Maysa Abouzeid learned blind judo is a Paralympic sport and she’s been involved with the sport ever since.

“I always liked martial arts. I watched everything growing up; Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee,” Maysa said.

“I went to my uni’s rec centre the next day and said I want to do judo.”

Recently, Maysa had the opportunity to travel to Japan in order to compete in the Tokyo International Opens.

The lead up to Japan was extensive, involving hours of training and classifications.

In the end, however, all of her hard work paid off.

“I won, and after that competition, I was ranked 15th in the world,” Maysa said,

Maysa’s time in Japan wasn’t all work and no play, though. She also had the opportunity to explore the country, and also meet her fellow competitors from around the world.

“I’m really happy I did it. It meant a lot to me, and it made me love judo even more.”

Maysa was diagnosed with retinal scarring at nine months of age, but as shown by her judo exploits, that hasn’t stopped her from pursuing her interests.

A university graduate, Maysa works full-time as a social worker, and at one point, she was even involved in stand-up comedy.

Until she found something she was more passionate about, that is.

“I left the arts for martial arts.”

Maysa’s goal is to compete in the 2024 Paris Paralympics. As such, she spends a lot of time training. When she’s not training, Maysa enjoys running and power lifting.

“I’ve always been very active,” Maysa said, “I’ve just never stopped moving.”

As a child, Maysa benefitted from the support of Vision Australia’s occupational therapists and assistive technology services.

More recently, she has the support of Vision Australia’s employment services.

They not only assist her in matters such as workplace accessibility, but also strongly encourage her Paralympic aspirations.

Learn more about blind judo here.

To learn how Vision Australia can support you, call 1300 84 74 66 or email [email protected]