Australia’s international success over the past 12 months can be credited, in part, to the finalists for Male Para-athlete of the Year at the Australian Institute of Sport’s Sport Performance Awards (ASPAs).
Dylan Alcott (wheelchair tennis) enjoyed an outstanding 2019, winning the quad singles titles at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon Championships, and finishing runner-up at the US Open. He also won all four quad doubles titles.
Curt McGrath (Para-canoe) successfully defended his men’s 200m KL2 and men’s 200m VL3 world titles at the 2019 International Canoe Federation (ICF) Para-canoe World Championships. These victories marked his ninth and tenth consecutive world titles, and McGrath wrapped up his 2019 season with gold in the men’s 200m VL3 and silver in the men’s 200m KL2 at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Test Event.
David Nicholas (Para-cycling) was a triple world champion on the track and road in 2019. He won gold medals in the men’s individual pursuit C3, men’s scratch race C3 and men’s individual time trial C3.
Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson (Para-swimming) won a silver medal in the men’s 50m breaststroke SB2 and bronze in the men’s 150m individual medley SM3 at the 2019 World Para-swimming Championships in London, England. He was also a finalist in the men’s 200m freestyle S3.
Michael Roeger (Para-athletics) won the 2019 World Para-athletics Championships men’s marathon T46, which was held in conjunction with the London Marathon. He won the race in 2:22.51 to easily smash the previous world record of 2:26.44. This is Roeger’s second ASPAs nomination, with his world record time in the London Marathon also featuring in the people’s choice for Sporting Moment of the Year.
Ben Tudhope (Para-snowboard) produced his best ever season, winning nine World Cup medals on the international circuit. He won the World Cup Crystal Globe for the most points won in the men’s banked slalom SB-LL2, and was second in the overall Crystal Globe standings for his consistent performances throughout the season.
The High Performance Program of the Year category recognises quality of sporting performance, conduct and professionalism, positive community influence and innovation.
Among the finalists is the Para-table tennis program, with Australia having won 17 gold, five silver and 10 bronze medals across four international events in 2019. Sam Von Einem (Class 11) was undefeated when winning gold at the 2019 Japan Open and 2019 Global Games.
Also nominated is Rowing Australia. Australia notched 15 gold, 13 silver and nine bronze medals in the 2019 season, including a World Championship-winning performance by Kathryn Ross in the women’s singles PR2.
The ASPAs are the annual celebration of Australian high performance sport, and the winners will be announced at a black-tie function at The Star, Sydney, on 10 December.
Finalists will be announced in other categories over the next two weeks, including Team of the Year, Male Athlete of the Year, Female Para-athlete of the Year, Emerging Athlete of the Year, Leadership Award and Athlete Community Engagement.
By the Australian Institute of Sport