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28029-Matthew Cabraja photo

Matthew Cabraja

Swimming

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Vision impairment
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
S11, SB11, SM11

Further personal information

Occupation
Student
Languages
English
Higher education
Mathematics - University of Toronto: Canada

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He learnt to swim as a young boy. After losing his vision, the club he was a member of could not accommodate visually impaired athletes, so he joined the COBRA Swim Club in 2012. "They've been like my second family. They've been completely supportive of everything I've done so far. Giving a blind swimmer a lane when he can barely stay in that lane is pretty tough, but we worked through it together and it's just the best community around."
Why this sport?
"Being a member of COBRA has taught me a lot of things. One of the things is that it gives me something to do, and if I wasn't doing swimming, I wouldn't push myself to do other things. But, swimming opened my eyes to the fact that everything is possible, and if I really want to do something, there's no reason I can't do it."
Club / Team
COBRA Swim Club: Brampton, ON, CAN
Name of coach
Ian Roopnarine [club]

General interest

Hobbies
Playing guitar. (swimontario.com, 21 May 2020)
Most influential person in career
His parents and coach Ian Roopnarine. (torontoobserver.ca, 05 Apr 2019)
Awards and honours
In 2020 he received a COBRA Swim Club Special Recognition Award. (COBRA Swim Club Facebook page, 28 Nov 2020)

In 2017 he received a COBRA Swim Club Special Achievement Award. (bramptonguardian.com, 07 Jun 2018)

In 2016 he received a Brampton Citizen Award for Sport Achievement. (bramptonguardian.com, 07 Jun 2018)
Famous relatives
His sister Victoria Cabraja has also swum for the COBRA Swim Club and competed in the sport at regional and university level in Canada. (swimming.ca, 07 Feb 2020; collegeswimming.com, 02 Jul 2017)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. He also aspires to work in the field of artificial intelligence. (torontoobserver.ca, 05 Apr 2019; swimontario.com, 21 May 2020)
Impairment
He was born blind in his left eye and lost his vision in his right eye at age nine after surgery was unable to correct a retinal detachment and cataracts. "My life changed for good. It was a shock, a new reality and I was never going to have vision. It was starting a life all over again, re-adjusting and modifying my lifestyle." (swimontario.com, 21 May 2020; bramptonguardian.com, 07 Jun 2018; YouTube, 30 Apr 2015)