Inspiring Corinda Boy with Cerebral Palsy Takes Up RaceRunning, Dreams About Paralympics

Corinda RaceRunning
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: RaceRunning Australia/Facebook

Max Bailey-Jensen, a resident of Corinda, is no ordinary 12-year-old. As someone with cerebral palsy, Max doesn’t let his limitations stop him from doing unexpected things, including competing in his dream sport: RaceRunning.

The young south western Brisbane local was hooked on RaceRunning when he saw the competition in Denmark, his birth country. Also known as  Frame Running, this is an athletic discipline for Paralympians. 

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Back home in Australia, his family explored the possibility of their son joining the race with the help of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). 

Even with no independent hand function, the determined 12-year-old participates in various sports activities, such as a triathlon, weekly Crossfit sessions and Judo training with the help of assistive technologies. He’s also quite adept in designing and drawing using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and like a lot of the kids his age, Max is a digital native, who loves the Xbox, iPad or Garage Band.  

Max’s family applied for an NDIS grant when the special RaceRunning bikes were imported to Australia and he became the first RaceRunner participant to receive the first frame. He was also the first to receive a national classification in the sport after joining the University of Queensland’s PARASTART RaceRunning program for people with high needs cerebral palsy. 

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Photo Credit: Carers QLD Australia

“Max is now training up to five days a week RaceRunning, swimming, and he’s in the weights room developing his physical skills and abilities,” his mum, Samantha, said.

“The benefits we are seeing from a physical, mental and emotional level are really positive, and it’s great to see Max so empowered and fitter.

“With the support of the NDIS, we are able to send Max to training with support workers, which is helping to create independence and providing him the opportunity to make more individual choices for his life.”

Max recently secured his second plan with the NDIS, which opens more possibilities for the young athlete.

“Max’s first plan was very equipment-focused; it was incredible when he got his first power chair at 11 and to see him have independence in his mobility.

“When the NDIS approved his assisted speech technology equipment in just three weeks so he could start high school with a voice; that was another great day.”

In 2024, RaceRunning will debut at the Paris 2024 Paralympics.

“Who knows, maybe Max will be on the track running for Australia,” his mum said with optimism.

For enquiries about NDIS funding, contact a Carers Queensland’s NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner at 1300 999 636, or