CSNSW's Paralympic Success
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Published: 23rd August 2021
Updated: 17th September, 3:50pm
With the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic official opening ceremony beginning today, CSNSW has seen some great sporting successes with our Australian Paralympians coming through our pathway. Of this year’s Australian Paralympic team, an astounding 8 members came through the CSNSW pathway.
Read about their stories here:
Scott Reardon - Para-Athletics 100m
Scott Reardon will make his third Paralympic appearance at the 2020 Tokyo games. Before Scott was a sprinter, former St Anne’s Temora student was a 12-year-old digging holes on his family farm. Standing on the frame of a post hole digger, Scott’s shoelace was untied, and it caught in the power shaft of the tractor, severing his right leg. Incredibly, Scott relearned how to walk in just a week-and-a-half. Since then Scott has represented Australia at the 2011 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics World Championships and winning a silver medal in the Men’s 100m T42 at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. He achieved his first international gold medal in 2013 at the IPC Athletics World Championships and at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games as the reigning world champion in men’s 100m T42, Scott was the one to beat. That same year, he was nominated for the Paralympics Australia’s Male Paralympian of the Year Award.
Scott is set to make his third Paralympic appearance at the Tokyo 2020 Games, alongside his wife Paralympian Vanessa Low as they represent Australia together.
Sarah Walsh - Para-Athletics 4x100m T64 & Long Jump T64
Former St John Bosco College Engadine, Sarah was 9 when she first begun to take sport seriously after she was gifted her first running blade. At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Sarah debuted and set an Oceanian record of 4.82m to finish sixth in the women's long jump T44. In 2017, at the World Para-Athletics Championships she moved into fourth place. In November 2019, during the World Championships Dubai, Sarah had a massive 5.20m leap placing her in third on the podium.
Sarah will make her second Paralympic appearance in Tokyo 2020, representing Australia in the 4x100m T64 and Long Jump T64 events.
Gordon Allan - Para-Cycling
Former St Bernadette’s Lalor Park and Patrician Brothers Blacktown student, Gordon Allan is set to make his Paralympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games. Throughout primary school and early high school, Gordon competed in football, athletics, and swimming. However, in 2011, after discovering Para-Cycling at the Paralympics Australia Talent Search, he fell in love with the sport. With the help of Paralympic cycling champion Peter Brooks, he became determined to become a Paralympian himself. Seven years later and Gordon broke into the Australian Cycling Team at the age of 19. As the youngest member of the squad, Gordon qualified for the 1km Time Trial at the 2018 Para Track World Championships, where he finished fifth.
Gordon is set to make his Paralympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 games, representing Australia in the Para-Cycling, Track C2 event.
Timothy Hodge - Para-Swimming
Former St Bernadette’s Lalor Park and Patrician Brothers College Blacktown student, Timothy Hodge is a multiple NSWCCC Multiclass Age Champion winner. As well as this, in 2018 he was the recipient of the major CSNSW Sport Award (Read about this more here: Article). At just age 14, Tim achieved his selection into his first Australian team, travelling to Glasgow, Scotland for the 2015 International Paralympic Committee Swimming World Championships. Following this, Timothy made his first Paralympic debut at the Rio 2016 Games. In 2018, he won Silver in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke SB8 and Men’s 100m Backstroke S9.
Timothy is set to make his second Paralympic games in Tokyo 2020, representing Australia in Swimming the Men’s 100m Butterfly (MC) and Men’s 200m Individual Medley (MC) events.
Tim took home a bronze medal in the Men's 100m Backstroke, a silver medal in the Men's 200m Individual Medley and a Silver medal in the Men's 4x100m Medley Relay.
Paige Leonhardt - Para-Swimming
Former student at St Joseph's Regional College Port Macquarie, Paige was just five years old when she was involved in a car accident that left her with severe injuries. However, at the age of 12 she found her love of swimming whilst she was going through therapy. Paige started competing through school and through Polding with able-bodied athletes and for the last three years she has been coached by Michael Mullins. Specialising in breaststroke, Paige competed at the Australian Championships in 2014 at the age of 14, competing in the open multi-class 50m breaststroke, which landed her the bronze medal. At the Australian Age Championships that followed, she took home the gold in both the 50m and 100m breaststroke. Paige then went on to make her Paralympic debut at the Rio 2016 games, where she qualifies for the final in the 100m butterfly and the 100m breaststroke, finishing in sixth place in both events. Paige is also family friends with another CSNSW Paralympian, Ryley Batt, and lists him as one of her idols.
Paige is set to make her second Paralympic appearance in Para-swimming at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic games in the events: 100m Backstroke S10, 100m Breaststroke SB9, 100m Butterfly S10, 100m Freestyle S10, 200m Individual Medley SM10, 4x100 Medley Relay S10 and 50m Freestyle S10.
Paige took home a silver medal in the Women's 100m Butterfly S14.
Alexander Tuckfield - Para-Swimming
Former St Joseph’s Como student, Alexander Tuckfield will make his Paralympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games. Alexander began swimming at the age of 10, after his parents took him to lessons. Alexander is a 16-year-old rising star who at the 2020 Swimming Australia Virtual Championships, he broke the Men’s 200m Freestyle S9 world record. In 2021, he finished second in the Men’s 400m S9 at the Australia Swimming Trials, qualifying for the 2020 Summer Paralympics.
Alexander will make his Paralympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games representing Australia in Para-Swimming.
Alexander took home a bronze medal in the Men's 400m Freestyle S9 event.
Bill Latham - Men's Wheelchair Basketball
Bill is a former student at John Paul College Coffs Harbour, and became an amputee when he was run over by a tractor on his family's property near Coffs Harbour. Suffering a fractured skull and damage to both his legs, he spent four months in an intensive care ward in Sydney. Eight years later he made the decision to have his left leg amputated. A natural athlete, Bill was exstatic to qualify for London 2012, contributing 27 sizeable points where the team enjoyed an unbeaten run to the final to finish second behind Canada. At his second Paralympic games in Rio 2016, Bill and the team were eliminated from the gold medal contention in a 23 point loss to Great Britain in the quarter finals.
Bill will make his third Paralympic debut as a part of the Australian Men's Wheelchair Basketball Team at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Ryley Batt - Men's Wheelchair Rugby Union
Former MacKillop College Port Macquarie student, Ryley is one of the greatest wheelchair rugby players the world has ever seen. For 12 years, Ryley avoided using a wheelchair, opting for a skateboard to get around on instead. If it were not for a timely visit by two-time Paralympian Brad Dubberley to Ryley's school, he may have never got into the sport. Just three years after meeting Brad, Ryley made his Paralympic debut as the youngest ever wheelchair rugby player to compete at the Paralympic Games. Four years later, at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, he reached the podium for the first time and in 2012 won his first Paralympic gold medal, scoring 37 of the Steelers' 66 goals against the Canadian team.
As co-captain of the entire Australian Paralympic Team, Ryley is set to make his 4th Paralympic appearance in the Australian men's rugby union squad.