Australia’s Paralympians and their top administrator were celebrated during the AIS Sport Performance Awards in Sydney overnight.
The Awards recognise the nation’s best sporting achievements and once again this year, the Australian Paralympic movement had a strong presence.
Taking out the Para Performance of the Year Award was two-time Paralympian and 2018 Australian Paralympic Team Co-captain Mitchell Gourley (Para-alpine skiing), who won his maiden world championship in the Super Combined before finishing his season on a high, taking home the IPC World Cup Crystal Globe for the most points won during the season in the Giant Slalom discipline.
With Gourley unable to attend due to his preparations for the IPC World Cup opener in Switzerland this week, APC Chief Executive Lynne Anderson accepted the award on his behalf.
“Mitch has done an outstanding job this year and in winning this award, he has beaten an incredibly competitive field of Para-sport nominees who all enjoyed an excellent 2017,” Anderson said
“To achieve two of his career goals in one year is spectacular, and we’re excited to see his acceleration continue over the upcoming World Cup season as we look ahead to next year’s Paralympic Winter Games.
“I’m really pleased to accept this award on Mitchell’s behalf. I know he would have loved to have been here to graciously accept it and I’m looking forward to passing it on upon his arrival back home.”
APC President Glenn Tasker was also acknowledged during the ceremony, after he received the ASC Service to Sport Award at the ASC’S Sporting Forum earlier in the day, for his outstanding contribution during an administration career spanning almost three decades.
A member of the APC Board since 2008, Tasker was elected President in 2013 and has since led significant governance reform to grow the APC’s reputational, organisational and financial strength.
Prior to his APC tenure, Tasker served in key roles in tennis and swimming, both domestically and internationally. As Executive Director of Swimming NSW (1990 – 1998) and Chief Executive of Swimming Australia (2001 – 2008), he led the implementation of inclusive programs for athletes with a disability and was instrumental in establishing Swimming Australia’s first high performance program for Paralympic swimmers in collaboration with the APC. In between these positions, he was the Swimming Competition Manager at the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games (1998-2000).
Meanwhile, the work of Australia’s Paralympic movement was also recognised by the Australian public. While they did not win an award, both Rio 2016 Paralympians Curtis McGrath (Para-canoe) and Isis Holt (Para-athletics) were both shortlisted for the ABC Sports Personality of the Year – awarded on public votes.
By APC Media