Shirnel Swarts is a Special Olympics South Africa athlete leader and a short track speed skater who represented her country in Austria at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games. And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Shirnel recently served as an ambassador, along with other notable personalities, for the 2021 SPAR WOMEN’S VIRTUAL CHALLENGE that took place on 4 September 2021. The event was designed to help South Africans bust the blues due to COVID-19 restriction by sharing stories of perseverance through a difficult year.
Shirnel, from Coronation Ville, Gauteng province, got involved with Special Olympics South Africa at the age of 13 years old through Casa De Sol School where she grew fond of short track speed skating because of the adrenaline rush. She also enjoys singing, which she finds to be a great form of meditation and relaxation.
It has been a big year for Shirnel! She was featured in the Special Olympics Suit Up Challenge along with Special Olympic Global Ambassador and celebrity fashion photographer Nigel Barker. She also appeared as a guest on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) show Activated that highlights the lives of people with disabilities.
As Shirnel completes her last year at Casa De Sol School, she looks forward to using her voice and abilities to demonstrate the power of inclusion.