When Joel Coughlan started competing in table tennis as an eight-year-old, he had no idea that one day he would be aiming to represent his country at the Paralympic Games.
Joel was a professional table tennis athlete and aspiring miner when, at the age of 21, he was severely injured in a workplace accident. While he was working as a labourer in an industrial workshop in Rockhampton, QLD, half a tonne of mining equipment fell from a forklift. Joel lost three toes on his right foot and muscle in his right leg, and underwent nearly three dozen operations, skin grafting, renal dialysis and a tendon transfer.
Even after the accident, Joel continued to train under his coach of then 13 years, Pam Clarke. His transition from table tennis to Para-table tennis was seamless, and in 2009, he made his international debut at the 2009 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Para-table …Read More