Kurt Fearnley and Simon Patmore have been named as finalists in both the Para-performance of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year categories for the 2018 AIS Sport Performance Awards (#ASPAs), the annual celebration of Australian high performance sport.

A five-time Paralympian, Fearnley fittingly ended his sporting career with marathon gold at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. But his passionate and articulate advocacy for the broader inclusivity of the disability community has ensured his legacy and leadership will extend far beyond his competitive career.

Fearnley is now a finalist in five categories for the AIS Sport Performance Awards, also including ABC Sport Personality of the Year, Best Sporting Moment and the Sport Australia Award, recognising fair play and integrity.

Para-snowboarder Patmore etched his name into the history books in 2018, becoming the first Australian to medal at a Winter and Summer Paralympics. Patmore became Australia’s first gold medallist at a Winter Paralympics since 2002 when he took gold in the men’s snowboard cross SB-UL at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Games. Patmore also won a bronze medal in PyeongChang in the men’s banked slalom SB-UL. His achievements were more remarkable given his switch from Para-athletics, in which he claimed a bronze medal in the men’s 200m T46 at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

As well as Fearnley and Patmore, Madison de Rozario and Curtis McGrath are also in the running for Para-performance of the Year.

Para-athletics superstar de Rozario claimed two gold medals at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, in the women’s 1500m T54 and women’s marathon T54. A week later, she became the first Australian female wheelchair racer to win the London Marathon, and in May, she equalled the women’s 1500m T53/54 world record.

McGrath also excelled in 2018, winning gold in the men’s KL2 and men’s VL3 at the 2018 ICF Para-canoe World Cup, and taking out the world championship titles in both events – now totalling eight world championship titles.

All winners of the 2018 AIS Sport Performance Awards will be announced at a black-tie function at The Star, Sydney, on Thursday 13 December 2018.

By Sport Australia
15/11/2018

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