42072-Maya Dove photo

Maya Dove



Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment

Further personal information

Melbourne, VIC, AUS
Athlete, Clerk, Student
Higher education
Psychology - RMIT University: Melbourne, VIC, AUS

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She was first introduced to Para sports through wheelchair basketball at age six, but did not get involved regularly until age 14 when her health stabilised. She was part of the New South Wales state U21 side for a year but began to lose interest in the sport, and switched to Para athletics at age 15 after seeing a video of a wheelchair basketball friend in a racing chair. "I messaged this friend and he gave me the number of the coach who was running training sessions. So I went down to Albert Park [VIC] and had my very first training session. Even though it was pouring with rain I enjoyed being in the race chair immediately."
Why this sport?
"Playing sport is such a great outlet for me and I'm so glad that I was introduced to it at a young age. Growing up in a wheelchair you can feel like you're an outsider and alone. I felt this heavily growing up because I couldn't do the same things as the other kids; I couldn't play on the playground, run around the school yard, go bike riding, simply go in the sand pit and play the usual running and chasing games that kids play. Being shown to Para sport really helped me in my own development. It opened my eyes to see that I'm not alone and that I can connect with others who share the same experiences as me."

General interest

Blogging, travelling, travel writing about her experiences overseas. (Instagram profile, 24 Jul 2019;, 22 Jul 2019)
Other sports
She was part of the New South Wales state U21 wheelchair basketball team for a year before switching to Para athletics. (, 12 Apr 2019)
She was born with cysts on her spine which paralysed her from the chest down. She was in and out of hospital until age four. At age 10, she needed major spinal surgery, and said her health had finally stabilised by age 14. (, 05 Sep 2018;, 17 Sep 2009)
Other information
In addition to studying, she works as an outpatients clerk for Northern Health in Victoria, Australia. (Facebook profile 11 Jul 2019)

In late 2018 she underwent breast reduction surgery, which had been impacting her energy levels and causing back pain. She documented the outcome on her website. "Since my surgery, I've had a lot of positive changes. I no longer have back pain, I can wear nice clothes, my posture is a lot better and I have so much more energy." (, 25 Apr 2019)

She does not eat meat and in 2018 decided to become a vegan. "In the middle of 2018 I decided to change my diet from being vegetarian and go completely vegan. I cut out all forms of dairy and eggs." (, 25 Apr 2019)

In 2009 during Australia's 'Black Saturday' bushfires that claimed nearly 200 lives, her family's neighbourhood of Kinglake was one of the worst affected areas. Her primary school burnt down and three of her school friends and their family members died. At the time of the fires, Maya was in hospital undergoing major spinal surgery. Her mother said the impact of the fires, and the death of her friends, was difficult to process. "She was very anxious and stressed, and didn't sleep for three days. We told her she was safe with mum and dad, but her friends had died at home with their parents." (, 17 Sep 2009)