Three-time Paralympian and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Katrina Webb OAM has been appointed to the Australian Team Executive ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Webb will join Chef de Mission Petria Thomas OAM, Commonwealth Games gold medallists Sharelle McMahon and Anna Meares OAM and Commonwealth Games Australia’s team performance general manager Tim Mahon on the Australian Team Executive for the Games.

“Katrina is a stellar addition to our Team Executive for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games,” Thomas said.

“She brings much enthusiasm and a wealth of experience to our team and will be a great mentor to the young athletes, especially our Para-sport athletes who will be aspiring to follow in her footsteps.

“I am excited to welcome Katrina to the Australian Team.”

Webb replaces two-time Commonwealth Games and three-time Paralympic gold medallist Kurt Fearnley AO on the Team Executive, who recently stepped down from the role due to his growing list of commitments.

Commonwealth Games Australia thanks Kurt Fearnley for his contribution to the team planning for Birmingham.

After earning a netball scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in her youth as an able-bodied athlete, Webb was diagnosed with a mild form of cerebral palsy, which she was first diagnosed with at three years of age, as a result the support staff at the AIS encouraged her to take up Para-sport.

The natural sportswoman excelled in Para-athletics, quickly earning selection to the Australian Paralympic team for the Atlanta 1996 Paralympics.

At the Atlanta Games, the then 19-year-old won gold medals in the 100m T38 and 200m T38 events and a silver medal in the long jump F38 event.

Webb returned at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics to win silver medals in the 100m T38 and 400m T38 events and a bronze medal in the 200m T38 event, before going on to win gold at the Athens 2004 Paralympics in the 400m T38 event.

Webb rounded out her illustrious career with a silver medal at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games in the 100m T38 event, when the Para-athletics event was added to the sport program for the first time in Commonwealth Games history.

“I must say thank you to Kurt Fearnley. He was on the Team Executive and with his expertise had made a significant contribution. With him stepping down due to his other board commitments, an incredible opportunity was presented to me” Webb said.

Webb’s own unique sporting journey has provided her with a wealth of knowledge she is excited to share with the Australian Team in Birmingham.

“I have had a really interesting athletic journey, coming from an able-bodied netball pathway at the AIS to transitioning to Para-sport.” Webb said.

“It doesn’t matter what sport you come from, the common thread is that we are all athletes and I am very excited about the opportunity to make a difference in other athletes sporting journeys.

“There has been some incredible work achieved already with the integration of Para-sport into the Commonwealth Games. I love the Commonwealth Games for this. I believe the Olympics and Paralympics sit beautifully apart as separate identities and integration is not required.

“However, the Commonwealth Games is that wonderful medium to bring both sports together and showcase the best of sport, and that two-way respect can be nurtured and developed.

“For me, I am incredibly excited to build on the great work that has been done by Commonwealth Games Australia.”

Birmingham 2022 is set for the largest-ever female and Para-sport program in history with women’s T20 cricket, beach volleyball and Para-table tennis joining the existing sports including aquatics (swimming, Para-swimming and diving), athletics and Para-athletics, badminton, basketball 3×3 and wheelchair basketball 3×3, boxing, cycling (mountain, road, track and Para-track), gymnastics (artistic and rhythmic), hockey, judo, lawn bowls and Para-bowls, netball, rugby sevens, squash, table tennis, triathlon and Para-triathlon, weightlifting and Para-powerlifting and wrestling.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place from 28 July to 8 August.

By: Commonwealth Games Australia
Posted: 21 December 2020