Teen local legend Gabriella Howells is over the moon.
The 16-year-old was recently selected to represent Australia at the 2019 INAS Global Games at Brisbane in October.
The INAS Global Games is the largest event in the world for elite sporting athletes who have an intellectual disability and allow their athletes to compete in a safe, fun and friendly environment.
Howells is a year 10 student at Maitland Christian School living with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
She was chosen to take part in the games by Sport Inclusion Australia.
When they called her in July to tell her that she would be one of three girls picked to represent Australia she couldn't believe it.
"There were so many other people going for it so when I got it I really was just speechless," Gabriella said.
Her achievements are particularly amazing considering she only started swimming three years ago.
Although, she does devote a lot of hours to her training.
Gabriella trained at the West Wallsend Indoor Swimming Pool under the management of her coach, "Coach Buzz", for three, two-hour sessions a week.
That was until this year where she decided to step up her game, attending five sessions a week to try and enter the competition.
"She makes me so proud and I believe she inspires all the other girls and boys with autism and other intellectual disabilities to pursue their dreams," Gabriella's mother, Katharine Chymiak said.
Gabriella will participate in a variety of swimming events including Freestyle (50m, 100m, 200m), Backstroke (50m, 100m), Breaststroke (50m, 100m), the 100m Individual Medley and her personal favourites, Butterfly (50m, 100m).
She will be doing her events at the Sleeman Sports Complex in Brisbane from the October 13 to October 17 so wish her luck.
Held once every four years, the games draw in their athletes from more than 80 countries to participate in a variety events ranging from cycling to swimming to taekwondo.
For more information about the INAS Global Games, visit their website.
In other news: Michael Owen picked in 2020 NSW men's under-18 softball team