• Events

Rainbow Kid Bella to tackle the Malabar Magic for another year

We catch up with Rainbow Club member Bella Eyles, 11, who was born with achondroplasia, short stature, as she prepares to swim the Malabar Magic for the second year in a row.

Bella Eyles, 11, has had quite the journey in her life being born with achondroplasia also known as short stature, but that hasn’t stopped her from finding a passion for the water with help from the Rainbow Club.

As Bella prepares to take on the Malabar Magic for the second year in a row, on Sunday, 18 February we recently caught up with her and her mum Marta Eyles to see how she got involved in ocean swimming and how she’s preparing for her upcoming swim.

“Bella was born with achondroplasia, short stature, but on top of her condition, she also had a spinal fusion of her neck vertebrates at the age of three,” said Bella’s mum, Marta Eyles.

“During this she had five of her seven vertebrates fused, so turning her head while swimming has been quite a big hurdle for her but the Rainbow Club has been amazing in helping her get in the water while figuring out her own technique, that works for her.”

“Now Bella loves to swim and seeing her prepare for this year’s Malabar Magic again this year, after she did it for the first time last year has been amazing because, swimming is the best sport for her, as it takes the pressure off her bones, especially on her back.”

Since starting with the Rainbow Club when she was eight, Bella’s teachers have helped encourage her to take her skills from the pool to the ocean which led her to the Malabar Magic.

“My swim teacher Carla at the Rainbow Club encouraged me to get into ocean swimming and do the Malabar Magic last year,” said Bella.

“She told my parents about it and thought I was ready to give it a go, so I signed up for the 250 metre Dash.”

“I like swimming but I was terrified before my swim at the Malabar Magic last year and was very close to not doing it because I was so scared.”

“But I did it, with my dad, Chris, swimming beside me and once I hit the ocean those feelings all changed and I had a great time.”

“I couldn’t believe that I had swam that much in the ocean for my first ocean swim and I was so happy to finish.”

Bella loved last year’s Malabar Magic so much that she decided to sign up again this year and this time round she is feeling much more confident as she prepares for the upcoming event.

“This year, I have been going to the beach for the whole of the Summer holidays and practising swimming with my dad in the waves,” said Bella.

“Doing this has really built up my confidence for this year’s race and I’m really looking forward to swimming in the clear water and gentle waves at Malabar Beach.”

“I now love looking down into the ocean, while I swim and I always have such a great time ocean swimming.”

“I’m really excited for this year’s Malabar Magic and I’m looking forward to not being scared this time. Last year, I used my flippers and floaty, but this year my goal is to just use my flippers and no floaty.”

Over the years the Rainbow Club has helped not only Bella’s swimming ability improve but also her confidence in the water, with her hitting a huge milestone last year.

“When I first started swimming at the Rainbow Club, I was very scared of the water but that has all changed now,” said Bella.

“The Rainbow Club has had a huge impact on my life, because from them helping me to learn how to swim, I have been able to compete at my school swimming carnival for the first time last year, with all of my friends.”

“Now that I’ve completed my school swimming carnival and an ocean swim for the first time, my swim teacher is helping me reach my goal of swimming 50 metres in the pool. Once I can swim that far, I will be able to be classified for my disability and be able to participate in other carnivals, which I am really excited about.

To join Bella at the Murray Rose Malabar Magic Ocean Swim again this year head to the listing for more information and to enter.

  • Written by Suzie Ryan on 5 February 2024
  • (Updated on 5 February 2024)

The guardian of open water swimming: Passionately supporting the swimming community since 1999

Copyright © 1999-2024 oceanswims.com. All rights reserved.
‘OCEANFIT is a registered trademark of OceanFit Pty Ltd.