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Julian Bajada

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Q&A with Julian

We asked all of our athletes a couple of questions to get to know them better. Check them out for yourself!

  • How many days per week do you train?

    Typically 6 days per week, with a mix of swimming and core/strength work.

  • What is your approach to dieting?

    I am strict with my dietary choices and avoid fatty foods. I ensure that I get my daily fresh fruit intake, but I’ll always remain a pasta lover. As long as I’m training day-in-day-out, I can get my pasta day-in-day out.

  • How many times per day do you train?

    Once a day – first thing in the morning. I find it refreshing and the ideal way to kick-off the day.

  • How long is an average workout?

    Swimming sessions are around 60mins-90mins, with my gym sessions shorter at 45mins-60mins.

  • Cardio or weights?

    I like both, but I like the ‘out of breath’ factor that comes with cardio.

  • Training alone or with a partner?

    I like to compete. So with a partner, definitely.

  • What is your favourite thing to do on a rest day?

    Anything by the sea - is is my source of tranquility

  • If you could achieve anything you dreamt of in your sport, what would it be?

    Becoming a full time athlete, touring the world and learning from other athletes.

  • What is your go-to race day / competition song?

    I have many, but my favourite has got to be something like a classic Stallone motivational speech running in the background.

  • If you could have dinner with one athlete / olympian (dead or alive), who would it be and why?

    Michael Phelps. He made a comeback from severe depression to win more a record-haul of golds at the Olympics and showed us that all athletes are human.

  • Use three words that, in your opinion, describe the charactaristics of a champion.

    Committed. Perseverance. (Constant) Learner.

  • If you could use one short sentence to motivate someone, what would you say?

    Mind over body – you must conquer the fear in your mind and use it to create something fearful.

Julian's Story

When I was a young kid undergoing major operations at Great Ormond Street Hospital (London), I always dreamt of being able to practice sports. I was born with a number of physical disabilities to both my legs and I am missing my right arm from the elbow downwards. This meant I spent the initial phase of my life unable to participate in sports as I required a series of major medical interventions, leaving me on a wheelchair for 5 years. At the age of 15 I was lucky enough to have received the news I had yearned for so much as a kid – that I won’t be needing any further major operations. It felt like I had my life back.

Fast forward a few years and what started out as a hobby (the usual 5-a-side with the lads or the casual jog), quickly turned out into a fundamental part of my day. At the age of 18, I was asked to give swimming a try and I haven’t looked back since. I built up my strength and technique step-by-step and was soon training up to x 10 swim sessions a week, adding in x 3 gym sessions a week in between. I soon became one of Malta’s most active and competitive para-athletes, with my proudest moment being representing Malta at the World Para-Swimming Championships in 2015.

Over the years, I have always sought to test my physical limitations that come with my physical disability to the limits. Trying out a whole variety of sports – from swimming, to indoor & outdoor rowing, boxing, basketball, athletics, obstacle racing and strength & conditioning work at the gym – has convinced me that the body truly has no limits. There were times were I myself doubted my own physical capabilities, but with a little bit of creativity and that never give up attitude, I’ve always found a way to adapt to my body and get the best out of it.

Today, I also represent the Malta Paralympic Committee as its Secretary General. My goal is to empower other individuals with physical disabilities to transform their lives through Paralympic Sport. Paralympic Sport has given me everything and my wish is to inspire others through what I do to take that leap and give sport a try. I want to see more people with physical disabilities excel at Paralympic Sport and motivate others in Malta to dream big. I live by the motto that everything is earned, not given. Through hard work and dedication, anything can be achieved, in sport and beyond.