Exceptional Para-Athletes Recognized as Finalists for Gold Coast Para-Sport Star of the Year Awards
The Gold Coast Para-Sports Star of the Year Award recognizes exceptional para-athletes who have achieved outstanding performances throughout the year. This year, the nominees for the prestigious award are Ella Sabljak, Susan Seipel, Madeleine McTernan, and Sara Tait.
Ella Sabljak, from Parkwood, has had an exceptional year in both wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby. She was part of the Australian women’s 3 x 3 wheelchair basketball team that won the silver medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July. Following the Games, she made the transition to wheelchair rugby and became only the third female athlete to represent Australia in the sport. She made her international wheelchair rugby debut for Australia at the Musholm Cup in Denmark in August and was selected to represent Australia at the World Championships in September. The Australian team won the gold medal, defeating the United States in the final, and Ella became one of the first Australian females to win a World Championship or Para-Olympic medal in the sport.
Susan Seipel, from Tallai, has been a force to be reckoned with in para-canoe. She won two medals for Australia at the ICF World Cup in Poznan, Poland in June, a gold in the women’s VL2 200m and a silver in the KL2 200m. At the World Championships in Halifax, Canada in August, Susan finished 5th in both the women’s VL2 200m and KL2 200m events.
Madeleine McTernan, from Arundel, has made a significant impact in para-swimming this year. She won two silver medals at the 2022 World Para-Swimming Championships in Madeira, Portugal, in June. Madeleine was part of the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay S14 and mixed 4x100m medley relay S14 teams that secured the silver medals. She also competed at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, finishing 5th in the women’s 200m freestyle S14 event.
Sara Tait, a para triathlete, has also had an impressive year. She won the 2022 Australian Para Triathlon National Championship and came second in the Oceanic Championship in Stockton and the Triathlon Para Cup in Devonport. Currently, she is ranked 10th in the world para triathlon rankings.
All the nominees for the Gold Coast Para-Sports Star of the Year Award have shown remarkable skill and determination in their respective sports. The winner of the award will be announced at the upcoming Gold Coast Sports Star Awards being held on 25 March 2023 at RACV Royal Pines.
Tickets are available for purchase at www.sportsgoldcoast.com.au! Don’t wait too long to secure your spot at this exciting event, as tickets are sure to sell out fast. Tickets include a 3 course meal and a 4 hour drinks package. Come see these amazing athletes be honored for their incredible achievements, and join in on the celebration of the best in Gold Coast sports.
We wish all the nominees the best of luck!