"It's the belief that anything is possible."
That's what Jamieson Leeson is providing for so many, especially her schoolmates in Dunedoo.
The Dunedoo Central School year 12 student is getting closer to making her Paralympic Games debut and excitement is growing in her home town.
Leeson will compete in the pairs section of the boccia in Tokyo, with her first match to be played on Thursday.
One of those who will be glued to the screen then is Dunedoo Central School principal Donna Lane, who has seen Leeson go from a boccia rookie to an Australian representative.
Not only has she taken her sporting achievements to new levels over and over, 18-year-old Leeson is currently doing it while also studying for this year's HSC.
"I just think she's an amazing young lady," Lane said.
"For our students, it's the belief you can come from somewhere like Dunedoo and still achieve really great things. It just takes hard work and determination."
Leeson, who has spinal muscular atrophy, first started playing boccia in 2018.
The sport is somewhat similar to lawn bowls and is only for athletes with a physical disability. Depending on their classification, athletes can throw, kick or use a ramp device to move leather balls as close as possible to the 'jack'.
It was Lane who noticed there was a boccia tournament in the region in 2018 and nominated a school team, including Leeson, to compete.
A talent scout in attendance noticed the youngster and the rest, as they say, is history.
Leeson won a gold medal at her first major tournament, the 2019 NSW State Titles, and she also went on to debut for her country that year.
Leeson uses a ramp and it's her mother, Amanda, who sets the ramp and is an important part of the teenager's success.
The Dunedoo star will team up with world number three Dan Michel in the pairs competition at Tokyo.
"It [boccia] has been something that our school has learnt about and Jamieson has put it on the map for us, which is great," Lane said.
"It changed Jam's whole outlook. The opportunity to be involved in an elite sport and there's the social connection and the travel has been amazing for her."
While it's created so much opportunity for Leeson, it's created plenty of excitement among her school friends.
There was a special assembly for Leeson on her last day at school before flying out last month.
Students dressed up in the Australian green and gold or the blue of NSW and showed their support for their national representative.
"We're hoping she can bring home a medal for us," Lane said.
The only downside to all this is the current COVID restrictions in regional NSW means Lane and her students won't be together to watch Leeson compete at Tokyo.
There's only a handful of students and teachers at school each day in Dunedoo, but there's been plenty of promotion on social media and during online Zoom classes.
"Hopefully people will tune in from home and we'll definitely have it on the big screen for those of us here," Lane added, before praising the exposure of the Paralympics as a whole this year.
"The publicity this time, I can't remember it being like it is, and that's fantastic.
"There's some amazing people competing and it's fantastic for our kids to see them achieve at a world level. It's the belief that anything is possible."
Leeson and Michel first play at 12.25pm (AEST) on Thursday against hosts Japan before matches against Portugal (10.30am), Brazil (3.25pm) and Hong Kong (7.05pm) on Friday.
The Paralympics are shown live on Channel 7 and on the 7plus app.
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