Athletics Australia Selectors have confirmed a green and gold team of 12 for the inaugural World Para-Athletics Junior Championships to be held on 3-6 August 2017.
Set to provide the next generation of para-athletics talent with their first taste of international competition as they continue their development pathway towards the Paralympic Games, the four-day event will take place in Nottwil (SUI), a mecca for wheelchair racing thanks to its reputation for record breaking performances.
“The addition of an international event for junior para-athletes is outstanding. It provides a much-needed introduction to the rigours of elite competition and that’s an important opportunity as athletes develop,” Dion Russell, Athletics Australia Chairman of Selectors, said.
“The 12 athletes we have selected are some of the most impressive athletes from the next generation, and we wish them every success. It’s going to be a big month for para-athletics, with Australia’s open age team to compete only weeks before at the London 2017 World Para-Athletics Championships.”
On the track, there are seven sprinters, each set to compete in the 100m for their respective disability class. Competing in ambulant events for athletes with a coordination impairment or limb deficiency are Liam Richardson (T35, Vic), Tamsin Colley (T36, NSW), Erin Garbler (T36, Vic), Samuel Walker (T38, Tas) and Alissa Jordaan (T47, NSW), while Nathan Donaldson (T34, Qld) and Gregory Luff (T34, NSW) compete in wheelchair events for athletes with cerebral palsy.
In the 800m, Daniel Bounty (T38, Qld) and Will Howard (T37, Vic) will both compete in the boy’s two-lap race for ambulant athletes with mild cerebral palsy. Samuel Rizzo (T54, Vic), who is coached by Paralympic champion Richard Colman, will continue Australia’s proud tradition of wheelchair racing across the same distance.
Competing in the field are Kailyn Joseph (T37, NSW) and Ari Gesini (T38, ACT), who will both take to the runway for the long jump.
The World Para-Athletics Junior Championships caters for athletes aged under 20, competing across two age groups (14-17 years old, 18-19 years old). The Championships will be held at the Sport Arena in Nottwil (SUI) in 2017 and 2019.
Australia’s team for the World Para-Athletics Junior Championships will depart Australia on 29 July 2017, arriving in the host city the day following. Competition commences on 3 August 2017 and spans four days.
For more information about the World Para-Athletics Junior Championships, please click here.
T34: The athlete has a coordination impairment caused by hypertonia, ataxia or athetosis and competes sitting down (i.e. wheelchair racing)
T35-38: The athlete has a coordination impairment caused by hypertonia, ataxia or athetosis and competes standing (i.e. ambulant)
T47: The athlete has a single limb deficiency, below the elbow, or an equivalent join restriction or muscle weakness in one arm.
T54: The athlete has muscle weakness, limb deficiency of joint restrictions and competes in a wheelchair. They have normal arm strength
Team Australia Staff: Amy Hibbert (Team Leader), Brett Robinson (Coach), Susan Andrews (Coach), Mark Wilson (Coach), Melissa Crunkhorn (Physiotherapist), Steve Caddy (Personal Care Attendant), Elisha Gartner (Personal Care Attendant)