On Monday, we had a remarkable speaker and story from Leigh Woodgate.

Leigh, having won three Jumps Races in the Vic circuit, won the Snowy Mountain Cup at Mansfield and the Cattleman’s Cup - feats still not eclipsed by another woman- suffered dreadful injuries from other horses trampling her following a fall during a race. Just the thought if it sent shivers down our spines.

During Leigh’s talk, the Australian Story television program about Leigh’s journey from the fall, 25 years ago, played on screen. You can review it with the audio included, including Tom Burlinson’s heartfelt introduction, by visiting her website: www.leighwoodgate.com. It took the production team six months to make the show, one day a week at time. Leigh had no idea how they would portray her in the episode, but it is amazingly good television AND TRUE!

After spending 17 days in a coma, told by multiple medical specialists she would never speak clearly, never walk, never work, never live independently, never run a farm, never ride horses - she has proved them all wrong. Many of them didn’t want her to be right.  Years of neurophysio, doctor’s visits, botox injections for spam, denovo treatments, endless poking and regular gymwork are all daily components of Leigh’s life.

Leigh fights every day to give people hope through her “7 steps to overcoming everything” (the steps are detailed in the video) and her goal is to become a professional speaker by sharing her methods.

One of the amazing parts of Leigh’s journey story is that she yearned to feel pan again, as “it lets you know you’re alive” and the absence of pain was a feeling of reduced quality in living. Dropping a brick on her foot until she did get some sensation seems counter-intuitive, but Leigh’s story is one that breaks the mould and breaks your heart. Leigh told us she couldn’t cry for two years after the accident, she was in a cold panic that her limited life was unchangeable. Her much loved grandmother’s death brought out the tears and allowed her to go on, knowing that bitterness and pity were not for her. Her mother encouraged and supported her, but Leigh has achieved much more than anyone anticipated

Leigh is practicing with Rotary her speaking audiences, as she strives to find a new career in public life. If anyone has any contacts to assist, please contact Leigh on 0457 590 043. Leigh is an awesome embodiment of the four-way Rotary test. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful gift to us if the Rotary Club of Canterbury could play some small part in putting Leigh on track to her new career goal?