University of Sydney athletes target Paralympic success

29 August 2012

Angela Ballard is competing in her fourth Paralympics. [Image: Australian Paralympic Committee]
Angela Ballard is competing in her fourth Paralympics. [Image: Australian Paralympic Committee]

Seven University of Sydney students, alumni or sports club members are going for gold at the 2012 Paralympic Games, which got underway on Wednesday with an opening ceremony at London's Olympic Stadium.

Track athlete and psychology honours student Angie Ballard, already a two-time medallist, is competing at her fourth consecutive Paralympics, while swimmers Prue Watt, Katrina Porter and Sarah Rose, and wheelchair basketballer Sarah Stewart, are competing at their third straight games.

Sarah is one of five 2012 Paralympians who are current or former members of the Elite Athlete Program run by Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness.

"It's exciting as the Paralympics are getting closer to have the support of Sydney University Sport & Fitness and the wider University community get behind us," said PhD candidate Sarah, who will be joined on court by fellow Sydney Uni WheelKings and Wheelchair Flames player Katie Hill.

Swimmer Katrina Porter, who trains as part of the Sydney Uni Swim Club (SUSC) High Performance Multiclass swim program, will launch her defence of the gold medal she won in 2008 in Beijing with what was then a world-record time in the women's 100m backstroke S7. Katrina will also compete in the 400m freestyle, 100m breaststroke, 100m freestyle and 100m freestyle relay. Her fellow SUSC member Prue Watt will be hoping to add to the six medals she won in Athens in 2004, while Sarah Rose won a bronze in the pool in 2004.

The final 2012 University of Sydney Paralympian is goalballer debutant Jennifer Blow, who is studying arts and education at the University.

University of Sydney athletes have won a total of 13 medals at previous summer Paralympics (as well as one medal at a winter games). The Paralympics follow an excellent Olympic campaign by University of Sydney athletes, who won eight medals. 

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Enquiries: Ben Wilson, 9351 6753, 0402 128 073,

Andrew Tilley, Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness, 9351 8116,