Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW
Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW

Will to Inspire

Will Elrick encouraged to keep moving forward

Many residents were clearly inspired by the talk given by our guest Will Elrick on March 30. Will, who lost a leg in a horrific car accident in 1997 has not let his disability stand in the way of his passion for achievement.

Since learning to become mobile again, he has competed in the Cycling World Cup 1km Time Trial (placed 12th), has become the first person with one leg to achieve a black belt in the martial art of Wing Chun, and has climbed some of the world’s highest mountain peaks.

Standing on one leg without support in Warrane’s main common room for an hour, Will urged residents to make the most of their talents: “We all have our climbs,” he said. “You don’t have to climb a mountain. We all go through something, we all have a story.”

He advised everyone to look for something that they loved doing, something they could be passionate about. “It could be music or it could be calculus,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you can feel passion for it.”

Will said that during the time he spent recovering from his car accident in hospital he had had time to think about the ultimate realities in life, including God and religion. He said during that time he had been able to experience a kind of spiritual contemplation.

“I am a Catholic, but I hadn’t experienced contemplation for years…,” he said. “That was the first time I started to understand (about the ultimate realities in life) because there was no distraction.”

Will said there were times in life when we all failed to achieve what we set out to do, but we should not fear the failures because they could teach us important lessons. For instance, on one occasion he had missed out on reaching the summit of a mountain by only 30 metres. “It is these experiences that teach you humility,” he said.

Will said that in life it was also important to seek out mentors, people like Warrane’s own tutors. He advised residents to make the most of them.

“It is important to have someone you can go to to talk about what is happening for you,” he said.

[Warrane College offers more than just accommodation to students at UNSW: Details of other guest speakers are available here]