Minister for Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services Tracy Davis joined more than 120 guests at the presentation dinner to honour the high achievers in disability sport and recreation across Queensland in 2014.
Shelley was captain of the state women’s team, the MineCraft Comets, who won the Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball League title for the first time in 2014. Shelley was also a member of the RSL Queensland Spinning Bullets who won silver in the male-dominated National Wheelchair Basketball League. The award also recognised Shelley’s community work helping to raise awareness about sport and healthy activity for people with a disability.
Shelley won her second trophy when the MineCraft Comets were named Team of the Year.
Teenage swimming sensation Rowan Crothers won both the Junior and Senior Male Athlete of the Year trophies for his world record swim in the S9 100m freestyle at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and his S9 200m freestyle world record at the 2014 Australian Swimming Championships. Glasgow swimming team mate and bronze medallist Lakeisha Patterson, 15, was named Junior Female Athlete of the Year.
The new sport of para-canoeing was the other big winner on the night, with international competitors Susan Seipel (Senior Female Athlete of the Year) and Curtis McGrath (Most Improved Athlete of the Year) picking up individual trophies, Olympic paddler Dr Gayle Mayes winning Coach of the Year for her work with adaptive paddlers and the Mooloolaba Outrigger Canoe Club winning the Inclusive Services Award.
Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association CEO Ray Epstein said the annual awards were hotly contested this year due to outstanding performances by Queensland athletes with a disability at the Commonwealth Games, world championships and national championships.
“The quality of the finalists this year was exceptional across all categories,” he said.
“A number of the awards went to athletes who are competing as members of mainstream sporting clubs and organisations, which we actively promote as part of our mission to get more people with disabilities involved in sport and healthy activity."
Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association is the peak body for sport, recreation and fitness for people with a physical disability or vision impairment in Queensland. The Association’s annual awards recognise excellence by athletes with disabilities, coaches, officials and organisations who promote inclusive sport and healthy activity (click here to see photo gallery from the awards night).