Griffith University: Our Paralympic athletes provide moments to celebrate

Griffith University’s Paralympic athletes have brought home 10 medals, including six Gold, after a golden final weekend in Tokyo.

Current Business student Madison de Rozario achieved an incredible haul of two Gold and one Bronze medal, which included a stunning victory in the women’s marathon T54 where she became the first Australian woman to win the event and set a new Paralympic record.

Her other Gold came in the 800m T53 event (also a new Paralympic record) and Bronze in the 1500m T54.

Alumnus Rowan Crothers also secured three medals in Tokyo, winning two Gold (50m Freestyle S10 / 4x100m Freestyle) and a Silver (100m Freestyle S10) in the pool.

Other medals were achieved on the water, with dual Gold medals for inspiring sprint canoe athlete and Aviation student Curtis McGrath (KL2 / VL3), in the pool with Business student Tom Gallagher (Bronze in the 400m Freestyle S10) and on the floor with Janine Watson (Exercise Science/Education alumnus), who claimed Bronze in taekwondo on the last weekend of competition, the first time the sport has been on the Paralympic schedule.

McGrath’s VL3 win was also a Paralympic first, being the va’a event’s Games debut.

Griffith Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans said the University community was absolutely thrilled with the performances of its students, alumni and staff.

“These athletes have provided our University community with some wonderful moments to celebrate and we are in awe of their achievements,” Professor Evans said.

“Griffith is proud to have played a role in assisting these elite sportsmen and women to achieve their goals, both in study and in sport.

“What wonderful role models for all.”

“Their efforts have inspired and motivated many and we look forward to both welcoming our current students back to Griffith as they continue their study journey and wishing our alumni the very best on their next challenge.”

Wheelchair basketball athlete and Bachelor of Industrial Design alumnus Matthew McShane
In other achievements, the Australian men’s wheelchair basketball team, which included alumni Matthew McShane (B. Industrial Design) and Tom O’Neill-Thorne (B. International Business/B. Government and International Relations) helped Australia to fifth place with a 74-58 win in their final game against Turkey.

Education alumnus Ella Sabljak was part of the Australian women’s wheelchair basketball team, which came ninth.

Katie Kelly, a Business alumnus, came sixth in the Women’s PTV1 Triathlon, while Tom Gallagher also grabbed fifth in the 100m Freestyle S10.

Griffith Sports College Director, Naomi McCarthy OAM, said the inspiring performances, amid a global pandemic, were a lesson to all.

“The journey of an elite sportsperson can be long and challenging at any time, but even more so over the last 18 months with uncertainty that has surrounded the Games with COVID”

“The journey of an elite sportsperson can be long and challenging at any time, but even more so over the last 18 months with uncertainty that has surrounded the Games with COVID,” she said.

“I am just thrilled for all our athletes, after an incredibly successful Paralympics campaign.

“They achieved beyond all expectations and just as our Olympians showed a month earlier, were up there with the best in the world.”

Griffith Sports College member and High Performance Rowing Coach Lincoln Handley also travelled to Tokyo after being selected to coach the Australian PR2 Mixed Double Sculls.