The NSW Institute of Sport’s ‘Campaign Tokyo’ initiative was designed to support athletes and staff in the lead-up to the Games.
Athletes, coaches and support staff from Team NSWIS will head to the Games, and we’ll be following them every step of the way. Hear from our inspiring experts and athletes on their journey.
Latest 'Campaign Tokyo' News
NSWIS Athletes of the Year honoured with Medal of the Order of Australia
The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and Paralympics Australia (PA) have congratulated 37 Australian Olympians…
NSWIS Celebrates Tokyo Paralympic Games Success
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games have concluded with NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) supported…
Sally Fitzgibbons & Steph Gilmore
Matilda 'Tilly' Kearns
Poppy 'Starr' Olsen
Lisa Darmanin & Jason Waterhouse
Bendere Oboya - Athletics
Rohan Browning - Athletics
Dani Stevens - Athletics
Nicola McDermott - Athletics
Jaime Ryan - Sailing
Lucien Delfour - Canoe Slalom
Experts off to the Games
NSWIS supported athletes selected for Australian Olympic and Paralympic teams
Lucien Delfour is a canoe slalom athlete who competed in the K1 event at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Delfour has had multiple podium finishes at World Cup level, including silver at the 2019 World Cup in Markkleeberg, Germany.
Following wins in the K1 at both the 2020 ICF Oceania Canoe Slalom Championships and 2020 Australian Open it was announced that Delfour was off to his second Olympics where he will contest the K1 at Tokyo 2020.
Jessica Fox OAM
Jessica Fox is a two-time Olympic medallist, seven-time world champion and hailed as the greatest individual paddler of all time.
The NSWIS scholarship holder amassed numerous junior world championship titles before announcing herself on the world stage at the London 2012 Olympic Games. At just 18-years-old, Jess produced one of the meet’s surprising performances to take silver in the women’s K1 event. The result made her the youngest woman to ever medal in canoe slalom at the Olympics.
In 2013, Jess won her first senior individual world title (women’s C1), before claiming the C1/K1 double in 2014. Next came a third C1 world title in 2015, which was then followed by a bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the women’s K1.
At the 2018 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships, Jess won two gold medals to become the most accomplished individual paddler of all time. In the following year’s championships event, Jess won silver in both her individual events before teaming up with sister Noemie Fox and Rosalyn Lawrence to take gold in the women’s C1 team.
Kayaker Jo Brigden-Jones is a world championship medalist who has been a member of the Australian Canoe Sprint Team since 2004.
Brigden-Jones competed at the London 2012 Olympics in the K4 500m event and will return to the Olympic arena for Tokyo 2020.
Bridgen-Jones has had several World Cup podium finishes including a silver medal at the 2018 World Cup in the K4 500m.
Kayaker Lachlan Tame won bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the K2 1000m. The 2015 world champion has won multiple World Championship and World Cup medals, including gold in the K2 500m and silver in the K2 1000m at the 2015 World Championships.
After taking a two-year break from the sport and undergoing shoulder surgery, Tame returned in 2019 where he led the Men’s K4 500m at the World Championships to secure an Olympic quota spot for Australia for Tokyo 2020.
In March 2020 it was announced that Tame had been selected to the Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo.
Murray Stewart is an Olympic gold winning kayaker. Stewart secured gold in the 2012 London Olympic Games for the K4 1000m event.
Stewart then went on to win bronze in 2013 and gold in 2017 at the World Championships, both in the K4 1000m.
Canoe sprint athlete Riley Fitzsimmons represented Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the K4 1000m, where the crew finished fourth.
After winning his first gold at the 2015 Junior & U23 World Championships, Fitzsimmons has gone on to win multiple international medals at both the junior and senior level. In 2017, Fitzsimmons became a world champion in the K4 1000m after winning gold with his team at the ICF World Championships.
Fitzsimmons will return to the Olympic arena for Tokyo 2020.
Jaime Ryan is a sailing athlete who competed at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the women’s 470 class with sailing partner Carrie Smith.
Hailing from Lake Macquarie in NSW, Ryan was also selected to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, this time in the women’s 49erFX class with crewmate Tess Lloyd.
In Rio, Jaime Ryan placed 15th overall in the women’s 420 event. Her brother, Will Ryan, also competed at the Rio 2016 Olympics and secured a silver medal in the men’s 470 event.
Sailor Jason Waterhouse won the silver medal in the mixed Nacra 17 at the Rio 2016 Olympics with his sailing partner (and cousin) Lisa Darmanin.
The Rio silver medallists return to the Olympic arena for Tokyo 2020 in the mixed-crew Nacra class. The pair have consistently been among the world’s best, backing up a stunning 2018/19 season which included a run of four international victories in five events with back-to-back bronze medals at the 2019 and 2020 Nacra 17 World Championships.
The duo also competed in the 2014 World Championships in Santander and won bronze.
Sailor Lisa Darmanin won the silver medal in the mixed Nacra 17 at the Rio 2016 Olympics with her sailing partner (and cousin) Jason Waterhouse.
The Rio silver medallists return to the Olympic arena for Tokyo 2020 in the mixed-crew Nacra class. The pair have consistently been among the world’s best, backing up a stunning 2018/19 season which included a run of four international victories in five events with back-to-back bronze medals at the 2019 and 2020 Nacra 17 World Championships.
The duo also competed in the 2014 World Championships in Santander and won bronze.
Ashlee Ankudinoff is a Commonwealth and world champion track cyclist and a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) graduate athlete.
At the 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Pruszkow, Ankudinoff won gold in both the individual pursuit and team pursuit.
Prior to that Ankudinoff won gold at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and two silver medals at the 2017 World Championships.
Ankudinoff competed at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Australian women’s team pursuit squad.
Track cyclist Kaarle McCulloch is a four-time world champion in the team sprint event.
Kaarle won a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics and has been with the NSW Institute of Sport for over ten years.
At the 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Pruszkow, Kaarle won gold with riding partner Stephanie Morton, as well as silver in the keirin and bronze in the time trial.
Thomas Grice will make his Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 in the Trap shooting event.
In 2017, Grice and partner Penny Smith became the first ever ISSF World Champions in the Mixed Trap Team event. The pair finished on the podium again at the 2019 World Championships in Lonato, Italy where they claimed bronze.
Grice won bronze at the 2017 Oceania Championship in the Men’s Trap and competed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Trap Shooter James Willett is an NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder and an Australian Olympian.
The Mulwala resident made his Olympic debut at Rio 2016 where he finished fifth in the Double Trap event.
After representing Australia at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Willett changed to Trap after Double Trap was removed from the Olympic shooting competition for Tokyo. Despite the transition, the sharp-shooter went on to equal the world record at the 2019 Acapulco World Cup, shooting a perfect qualifying score before going on to take gold. Later that year Willet and partner Laetisha Scanlan took gold at the World Championships in the mixed trap.
Following his win at the 2020 Commonwealth Championships, Willet was selected on the Australian Team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Jessica Hull is an Australian representative distance runner who has been officially selected onto the Australian Olympic Team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in the women’s 5000m event.
Hailing from Albion Park (City of Shellharbour), the NSW Institute of Sport scholarship holder broke an 18-year-old Australian record in the 5000m by four seconds at the 2020 Herculis Diamond League in Monaco (finishing in 14:43:80) .
As a junior, Hull won multiple Australian Athletic Championships in both the 1500m and the 3000m, and went on to finish 7th in the 3000m at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships.
In 2015, the Australian relocated to the USA to take up an athletics scholarship at the University of Oregon, where she earned seven All-American honours and was a four-time NCAA Champion.
Nicola McDermott is an Olympic Games silver medallist, the Australian women’s high jump record holder (2.02m) and a NSWIS scholarship holder.
The NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) athlete was first introduced to high jump at her local little athletics club on the Central Coast of New South Wales when she was seven years old. At age 11, she began working with coach Matt Horsnell who still coaches her to this day. Her personal bests increased year on year and in 2014 Nicola first represented Australia at the IAAF World Junior Championships where she finished 16th.
Nicola’s breakout season came in 2018 when she was selected for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, where she set a personal best of 1.91m to clinch the bronze medal – her first medal on an international stage.
After changing up her training she soared to new heights in 2019. In her first jump of the year she smashed her PB with a 1.94m leap in Canberra. Competing at the Golden Spike Ostrava she added another 2cm to her PB clearing 1.96m – a Tokyo Olympic qualifying height. Nicola then finished third with 1.94m at the Monaco Diamond League. Across the season she had placed in the top eight in five Diamond League meets.
Bendere Oboya is a specialist 400m runner, was the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games Champion and is a member of the Australian Olympic Team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Born in Ethiopia and moving to Australia at age 3, the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder rose from obscurity in 2017, clocking 53.03s in the National Junior Championships 400m event to be selected for the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games. Oboya ran another personal best (52.69) to become Commonwealth Youth Games Champion and earn a Commonwealth Games qualification time.
Since competing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Bendere has continued to improve her times, highlighted by a 51.21s – an Olympic qualifying time – run at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha.
At the 2021 Australian Track and Field Championships, Bendere won the women’s 400m national title to officially secure selection for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Rohan Browning is a NSWIS scholarship holder, Olympic sprinter and Australia’s second-fastest person ever over 100 metres.
At the 2019 Queensland Track Classic sprinter Rohan Browning clocked 10.08s to equal the fastest 100m time by an Australian on home soil, cementing him as Australia’s third-fastest man across 100m behind Patrick Johnson and Matt Shirvington.
That time also qualified him for the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha – where he became the first Australian man in over a decade to run in the individual 100m at a World Championship.
Browning represented Australia at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the 4 x 100m men’s relay where the team finished fourth in the final.
Since bursting onto the scene Dani has dominated Australian domestic competition. She has competed in both discus and shot put at the national and international level, but discus is where she excelled.
The 2006 Commonwealth Games was Dani’s first senior international competition and where, after coming from behind to snatch bronze in discus, she become the youngest Australian to medal in a throwing event at the Commonwealth Games. Then, in 2009 at age 21, Dani become the youngest-ever female discus world champion when she threw three personal bests in succession and 65.44m to win gold at the IAAF World Championships.
Debuting at the 2008 Beijing Games, Dani was the youngest member of the Australian athletics team. She went on to represent Australia at the London 2012 Olympic Games and again at the Rio 2016 Olympics where she finished fourth in discus, missing out on the bronze medal by just 44cm.
Competing at her sixth world championship in London in 2017, Dani threw 69.64m to win silver while also smashing a 23 year Australian discus record set by Daniela Costian.
Hannah Buckling first debuted for the Aussie Stingers in 2011 at the Canada Cup where she scored a goal in the final to help Australia win Gold. That same year Buckling was also named Water Polo Australia’s Junior Female Player of the Year.
In 2013, the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder travelled to the USA where she spent a season playing for the University of Southern California Trojans. In her single season, she netted 40 goals for the Trojans, earning All-American honours and helping the team win the NCAA Championship. Buckling then headed to the 2013 FINA World Championship in Barcelona where she and her Stingers teammates won silver.
Buckling made her Olympic debut in Rio where Australia finished in 6th place. In 2019, the Stingers travelled to South Korea for the 2019 FINA World Championships, with Buckling scoring two goals to help take down Hungary and earn a bronze medal.
Lea Yanitsas is a goalkeeper for the Australian Women’s Water Polo Team and is a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder.
Yanitsas was part of the 2016 Australia Women’s Water Polo Team who narrowly missed out on a place in the Olympic semi-finals after their quarter-final match with Hungary was decided on penalty shootout.
Yanitsas made her international debut in 2007 and since then has been consistently guarding the Stingers net. In 2012 Yanitsas and her Australian teammates won a silver medal at the FINA World Cup. The team produced another silver at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona.
Following the birth of her son in 2018, Yanitsas was recalled to the Stingers squad and selected for the 2019 FINA World Championships where she and her teammates won the bronze medal against rivals Hungary. The competition also marked Yanitsas’ 150th cap for Australia.
Water polo player, Elle Armit is a member of the Australian women’s national team, The Stingers, and is a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder.
With over 70 international caps, Elle made her Stingers debut in 2013 and competed at that year’s FINA World League Preliminaries. She has since been a consistent member of the squad.
In 2018, Elle and the Stingers were silver medallists at the FINA World League Intercontinental Cup. The Stingers traveled to South Korea for the 2019 FINA World Championships where they came away with the bronze medal after taking down Hungary.
Elle, who was raised in Townsville has competed in both Italian and Spanish national leagues. She played for Queensland in the National Water Polo league before relocating to Sydney in 2018 to play for the Drummoyne Devils.
Water Polo player Lena Mihailovic made her debut for the Australian national team in 2017. The NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder was a member of the Aussie Stingers squad that won bronze at the 2019 FINA World Championships and silver at the 2019 FINA World League Intercontinental Cup.
Mihailovic grew up playing water polo in her native Serbia and in Turkey. In 2011 she relocated with her family to Australia, where she joined Cronulla Water Polo Club.
While representing Australia at the 2014 Youth World Championships in Madrid, Mihailovic was noticed by Arizona State University’s (ASU) Head Water Polo Coach. The following year she joined ASU where she played four seasons for the Sun Devils, finishing with a total of 131 goals to place her inside the top 10 for career goals in the school’s history.
Amy Ridge made her national team debut at the 2017 FINA World League Intercontinental tournament, where Australia defeated the USA to win gold. Since then, Ridge has been a key member of the Aussie Stingers squad.
In 2018, Ridge and her Stingers teammates won bronze at the FINA World Cup. In the same year, Ridge was ranked the second-highest goalscorer in the OVO Australian Water Polo League with 50 goals from 22 matches.
Ridge added another bronze medal to the tally after the Stingers took down Hungary at the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships.
Before making her Aussie Stingers debut at just 17, Bronte Halligan represented Australia at the 2013 FINA World Junior Championships and the 2014 FINA World Youth Championships.
Since then she has gone to consistently represent Australia at the highest level, including at the 2019 FINA World Championships where Halligan and her Stingers teammates won the Bronze medal after defeating Hungary.
Now a veteran member of the squad, Halligan celebrated her 100th cap for the Stingers at the 2019 World Super League final where she also earned MVP of the match against Hungary.
Halligan splits her time between Australia and the USA where she plays for the UCLA Bruins in the college system.
Water polo player Matilda Kearns will make her Olympic debut at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the age of 20.
The Aussie Stingers forward took up water polo in high school and went on to represent Australia at the 2016 and 2018 FINA World Women’s Youth Water Polo Championships, the 2017 FINA World Women’s Junior Water Polo Championships and the 2019 Summer Universiade.
In 2019 Matilda moved to the USA to take up studies at the University of Southern California (USC). The freshman scored two goals on debut for the USC Trojans and earned ACWPC All-Academic honors in her freshman year.
Matilda was then selected into the Aussie Stingers squad and made her senior international debut at the 2019 FINA World League Super Final in Hungary.
With over 200 international caps to her name, Keesja Gofers is a senior member of the Australian women’s water polo team, the Aussie Stingers. She made her Olympic debut at Rio 2016 where the Stingers narrowly missed out on a place in the semi-finals.
Since being called up to the national team in 2010, Keesja has won multiple World Championship and World Cup medals including Bronze at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea and the 2018 FINA World Cup in Surgut, Russia.
In 2018/19 Keesja spent a season playing for Olympiacos in Greece where she helped the team to their sixth Greek League Championship in a row.
Madison De Rozario OAM
NSW Institute of Sport scholarship holder, Madison De Rozario, is a three-time world champion para athletics representative who will compete at her fourth Paralympic Games at Tokyo 2020.
Madison won two gold medals at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in the 1500m T54 and the marathon. Just a week after her Commonwealth Games marathon race, Madison made a last dash sprint to win the London Marathon – becoming the first Australian to win the women’s wheelchair title. At the 2018 World Para-athletics Nottwil Grand Prix Madison won gold in all three of her events and equalled the women’s 1500m T53/54 world record.
To kick off 2019, Madison set a new world record in the 800m T53 while competing at the 2019 GIO Summer Down Under Series in Canberra – crossing the line in 1:45.53. Later that year she finished third at the World Marathon Championships and won a gold and two silver medals at the World Para Athletics Championships.
Madison, who trains under NSWIS Most Outstanding inductee Louise Sauvage, will represent Australia at her fourth Paralympics in Tokyo.
Rheed McCracken is a para track athlete who has competed and won medals at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
The NSWIS athlete won a silver medal at both Games in the men’s 100m, a bronze at the London 2012 games in the men’s 200m as well as a bronze at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in the men’s 800m.
Rheed, who is based in Newcastle, has won multiple world championship medals, including back to back silver in the 100m at the 2017 and 2019 IPC World Athletics Championships. He set a new world record time of 14.93 in the 100m T34 at the 2017 Swiss National Championships – a record he then broke the following year at the 2018 World Para-athletics Nottwil Grand Prix, crossing the line in 14.80.
Rheed will return to the Paralympic arena for the Tokyo 2020 games where he is hopeful of winning his first Paralympic gold medal.
NSWIS Para-canoeist, Dylan Littlehales, represented Australia at the Rio 2016 Paralympics and will hit the water again at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Hailing from the NSW Central Coast, Dylan was introduced to para canoe at 14 by his uncle who was a head coach for the Australian canoe slalom team. The timing was perfect; Para canoe was making its debut at the next Paralympics in Rio and the Avoca Kayak club had just started up – and so Dylan’s journey began.
At 15, Dylan made his debut for Australia in the KL3 event at the 2015 ICF World Championships in Italy, placing a commendable 17th. He was the youngest competitor by three years. Returning to the World Championships the following year, Dylan powered home to place second in the B Final by just 0.001 of a second – qualifying Australia a berth at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
Selected to the Rio 2016 Team, Dylan was 16 when he made his Paralympic debut – the youngest in the para-canoe squad by five years. He reached the semi-final in Rio where he placed 6th and took more than a second off the time he clocked in his heat.
Australian diver Melissa Wu is an Olympic silver medallist, a world championship medallist, and a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder.
Having represented Australia at three Olympic Games (Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016), Melissa will compete at her fourth Olympic Games when she takes to the platform at Tokyo 2020, becoming just the third Australian diver to compete at four Olympics.
Melissa began diving in 2003, at age 10, and claimed a number of junior and state titles throughout 2004/2005. She won gold in the 10m platform event at the 2006 Australian Open Diving Championships – her first senior diving competition. The win earned Melissa a place on the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games team where the then 13-year-old won a silver medal in the 10m synchronised event with team mate and fellow NSWIS athlete Alexandra Croak.
High jumper Brandon Starc is an Australian Olympic representative, Commonwealth Games gold medallist, and NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder.
After competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Brandon will become a dual Olympian when he returns to the Olympic arena for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Brandon’s journey began in 2009 when he was a student at The Hills Sports High in Sydney’s northwest. The following year, at 16 years of age, he made his international debut at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore. In the final Brandon added 9cm to his personal best to jump 2.19cm – landing him on the podium with a silver medal. He went on to compete at the World Junior Athletes Championships in Barcelona where he finished in 6th place.
In 2013 he competed at his first senior IAAF World Championships in Russia and represented Australia again at the 2015 World Championships in China jumping a personal best of 2.31cm to make the final. He finished 12th overall. The Olympic debut came in 2016 in Rio where Brandon made it through to the final.
Amanda Reid OAM
Amanda Reid is a five-time para-cycling world champion and a two-time Paralympian that has represented Australia in both swimming and cycling. The NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder will become a three-time Paralympian when she takes to the track at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Born in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, Amanda was just 14 when she made her international swimming debut at the 2011 Global Games in Italy where she took home seven gold medals. The following year she was named on the Australian Paralympic swim team for the London 2012 Paralympics. The then 15-year-old, the youngest in the final, finished fifth in 100m Breaststroke SB14.
Following the London 2012 Games, Amanda took up cycling and claimed her first national title in 2015. The following year she was competing at the Rio 2016 Olympics where she posted a personal best time to claim the silver medal in the 500m time trial C1-3.
The dual Olympian went on to win dual world titles at the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championship in the 500m time trial and 3km individual pursuit. Amanda finished on the podium again at the 2018 World Championships, taking silver in the C2 500m time trial.
Para cyclist Gordon Allan has had podium finishes at both the 2019 and 2020 UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships and competed at his maiden Paralympics when he took to the track at Tokyo 2020.
Gordon’s journey to elite cycling began in 2011 when he attended a Paralympics Australia Talent day. Following the talent day he received a call from Paralympic cyclist Peter Brooks, who won two gold medals at the Athens Games, encouraging him to start cycling. From there Gordon joined Parramatta Cycling Club and then the Western Sydney Academy of Sport’s cycling program.
In 2016, the then 17-year old claimed his maiden national title in the men’s road race and the men’s C2 time trial at the national Para cycling championships. Since then he has won multiple national titles on both the track and the road.
Gordon was selected to the Australian team for the 2018 UCI Para cycling track world championships where he finished fifth in the C2 time trial. Returning to the world championships the following year, Gordan set a new world in the C2 1km time trial final but ultimately came away with the silver after the final competitor pipped the new mark by 0.005secs.
NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) hockey graduate, Dylan Martin, is a defender in the Australian Men’s National Team, the Kookaburras, and will make his Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Born and raised in Wagga Wagga NSW, Dylan was a member of the NSW Under 21s team that won the 2019 Australian Championships, where he was named Player of the Tournament, and was a standout for the victorious NSW Pride team that took out the inaugural Hockey One competition in 2019.
The NSWIS scholarship holder was then invited to be part of National Development Squad and after impressing selectors was elevated to the national team – the only addition to the squad ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
Dylan debuted for the Kookaburras in May 2021 against New Zealand in the Trans-Tasman series. Incredibly less than a month later he was named in the Kookaburras team that will represent Australia at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Elite BMX rider, Saya Sakakibara, is a six-time national champion who will represent Australia in the Supercross event at her maiden Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Born in Japan, Saya began BMX at age four following in the footsteps of her older brother Kai. The Sakakibara family made the move to Australia in 2007 and the siblings joined Southlake Illawarra BMX Club and began competing on the junior circuit. It did not take long for Saya to rise through the ranks and claim multiple state and national titles and then silver in the Junior Elite BMX Supercross at the 2017 UCI BMX World Championships.
The NSWIS scholarship holder made her elite BMX World Championship debut in 2018, where she made the final and finished sixth. That same year Saya was runner up in the overall 2018 UCI BMX World Cup Series after winning the final event of the round in Argentina.
In 2019 Saya produced multiple top-five finishes across the World Cup rounds, a seventh-place finish at the UCI BMX World Championships, and narrowly edged world champion and Rio 2016 silver medallist Alise Willoughby to take out the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games test event.
Esther Qin is an Olympic diver, a four-time Commonwealth Games medallist, and a world championship bronze medallist. The NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder made her Olympic debut at the Rio 2016 Games and will represent Australia again at Tokyo 2021, competing in the women’s 3m springboard event.
Born and raised in China, Esther’s initial sport of choice was gymnastics before taking up diving at the age of 11. In 2009, when Esther was 17, her family moved to Australia where she continued diving. She was awarded an NSWIS Scholarship in 2012, training under head coach Chava Sobrino.
The following year the NSWIS diveer claimed bronze at the FINA Diving Grand Prix in Canada and silver at the 2013 Summer Universiade – both in the 3m Synchronised Springboard event. Selected on to the Australia team for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the then 22-year-old won a gold and a bronze medal in the 3m Springboard and 1m Springboard respectively, and also placed 4th in the 3m Synchronised Springboard.
Since then, she has gone to win multiple medals at FINA World Cup, Grand Prix and World Series events as well as a gold medal in the 3m springboard synchro and bronze in the 1m springboard individual at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Mariah Williams is a member of the Australian women’s hockey team, the Hockeyroos, and a Rio 2016 Olympian who has been named on her second Olympic team for Tokyo 2020.
Born in Parkes in the central west region of New South Wales, Mariah was just four years old when she first picked up a hockey stick. A visit from former Kookaburra and three-time Olympian, Stephen Davies (also from Parkes), to Mariah’s primary school inspired her to think she too could one day play Hockey for Australia. Moving to Newcastle at 14 Mariah joined Hunter Sports High and from there went on to represent her state and was offered a scholarship to the NSW Institute of Sport.
2013 was a milestone year for the then 17-year-old who debuted for both the Australian junior team, The Jillaroos, and the Hockeyroos and was invited to make the move to Perth to join the national squad. However, Mariah decided to postpone the move and stay in Newcastle to finish Year 12.
Born without a ligament in her knee, Mariah overcame multiple surgeries to become a regular fixture in the Hockeyroos team, winning gold at the 2015 Oceania Cup and also captaining the Jillaroos to a bronze medal at the Junior World Cup in Santiago, Chile. In 2016 the Hockeyroos attacker was selected to represent Australia at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, where the team was beaten by New Zealand in the quarter-finals.
Hockey player Grace Stewart is a member of the Australian women’s hockey team the Hockeyroos who made her Olympic debut at Rio 2016 and will now compete at her second Olympics when she takes to the field in Tokyo.
Hailing from Gerringong in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, Grace first started playing Hockey at five and rose through the ranks, selected to for her local representative and state teams and was awarded a scholarship to the NSW Institute of Sport.
2016 was a breakout year for the young player. Promoted from the development squad, Grace made her first appearance for the Hockeyroos at the International Tri-Series in Singapore scoring on debut to secure Australia a 1-all draw against Germany in the opening round. Impressive performances in test matches against Great Britain and China and a frenzy of goals at the Hawkes Bay Cup, saw Grace named on the Hockeyroos team for the 2016 Olympic Games where the team reached the quarter finals.
Grace closed out 2016 by being selected to the Australian Australian Under 21 side, the ‘Jillaroos’, for the 2016 Junior World Cup, where she scored three goals in the tournament to help Australia to a bronze medal finish.
Kate Jenner is a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) graduate athlete and a member of the Australian Women’s Hockey Team, the Hockeyroos.
The experienced athlete represented Australia at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London before she went on to play in the victorian Australian team at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
In 2021, Kate was officially selected on the Australian Olympic Team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Tim Brand is a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) graduate athlete and a forward in the Australian Men’s Hockey Team, the Kookaburras.
Born in the Netherlands, Tim grew up in Chatswood in North Sydney and played for local Hockey club. He was member of the Australian U21 team for the 2015 world cup qualifier and NSW U21 NSW team that won the 2017 Australian National Championships. Tim then joined the national development squad and at 19 made his debut for the senior team in June 2018 in a test series against Germany.
The forward was part of the gold medal-winning team from the 2018 Champions Trophy in the Netherlands and finished a stand out year with Bronze at the 2018 World Cup in India.
In 2019 Tim helped the Kookaburras to gold in the inaugural FIH Pro League took also took out the inaugural Hockey One Australia Championship – scoring 4 goals in the championship final.
Matthew Dawson is a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) graduate athlete, a member of the Australian Men’s Hockey Team, the Kookaburras, and an Australian Olympic representative.
Hailing from Killarney Vale on the NSW Central Coast, the defender first started playing hockey at 8 and by 15, he was being selected to the NSW youth teams.
The NSWIS graduate then progressed through the development ranks to Australian U21 team and a gold medal at the Australian Youth Olympics. In 2014, at 21, Matthew made his senior international debut in a test series against India in Perth. The following year he was signed by the Kalinga Lancers in the Hockey India League.
Matthew was a member of the Kookaburra team that won the 2016 Champions Trophy and was selected for the Rio 2016 Olympics where the team finished 6th. In the lead up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Matthew suffered a serious eye injury. He recovered and was given the all clear to play at the games where the kookaburra claimed gold.
Rowena Meredith is a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) graduate athlete, a member of the Australian Women’s Rowing Team, and will make her Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games in the women’s quadruple sculls.
Born in England, Rowena was raised on Sydney’s North Shore and first took up rowing in 2008. Her senior club rowing career has been Mosman Rowing club and more recently with Sydney University Boat Club.
The young rower made her Australian representative debut at the 2015 U23 World Rowing Championships claiming a silver medal with the women’s quadruple sculls crew, before joining the Hancock Prospecting Women’s National Training Centre in 2016.
2017 was a breakout year for Rowena. She was selected in the Australian Senior Quadruple Sculls crew with fellow NSWIS athletes Leah Saunders and Genevieve Horton. The crew went on to take silver and then bronze at the 2017 World Rowing Cups II and III. Rowena also raced in the quadruple sculls crew at the 2017 U23 World Rowing Championships who finished second. Competing at her first World Rowing Championships in 2017, Rowena and the young Quadruple Sculls crew made the finals where they finished in sixth place.
Jack Hargreaves OAM
Jack Hargreaves is a two-time world champion rower in the men’s coxless four and made his Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games where he won gold with his men’s coxless four team.
Raised in Nyngan in the NSW outback, Jack attended boarding school in NSW where he took up rowing. Following school, Jack represented Sydney University Boat Club and in 2013 the young rower made his Australian representative debut racing in the men’s eight at the World Rowing Cup I in Sydney where the crew finished third.
The NSWIS Graduate Athlete went on to win back-to-back silver medals at the 2014 and 2015 World Rowing U23 Championships in the men’s pair.
Jack joined the Men’s National Training Centre in 2016/17 and was selected, alongside fellow NSWIS athlete Spencer Turrin, to row in the Men’s Coxless Four at the 2017 World Rowing Cup 2 where they took gold. Jack then raced in the Men’s Eight at World Rowing Cup 3 claiming silver. At the 2017 World Rowing Championships in Florida, Jack and Spencer were selected again in the Men’s Coxless four. The crew flew out of the start, led at every mark and held off the Italians to take the win. It had been 26 years since Australia had won the boat class.
Rower Cameron Girdlestone represented Australia at the Rio 2016 Olympics Games and will wear the green and gold again at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Hailing from Sydney, Cameron took up rowing in 2003 and two years later made his international debut at the 2005 World Rowing Junior Championships in Brandenburg, Germany.
Making the senior Australian Team in 2014, Cameron competed across the international season medalling at the 2014 World Rowing Cup in Sydney in both the men’s quadruple sculls and double sculls, taking gold and silver respectively. The following year, the quadruple sculls crew bagged another silver medal, this time at the world championships in France.
In 2016, Cameron and the Men’s Quadruple Sculls were unbeaten at the two world cups in Lucerne, Switzerland, and Poznan, Poland. Making his Olympic debut at the Rio 2016 Games, Cameron and the quadruple sculls crew finished on the podium with the silver medal.
NSWIS graduate athlete Georgina Rowe is a world championship silver medallist rower and a member of the Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo 2020, where she will make her Olympic debut.
Raised on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Georgina competed for her local surf lifesaving club in surfboat rowing before taking up still water rowing in 2017.
In 2018, she was selected on the Australian Rowing Team as part of the women’s eight crew, making her international debut at the 2018 World Rowing Cup in Austria where they claimed bronze. Later that year at the World Rowing Championships in Bulgaria, the women’s eight crew claimed another bronze medal. Georgina followed up her 2018 success in 2019 with medals at the two World Cups in Poland and The Netherlands.
At the 2019 World Championships Georgina and the Women’s Eight crew took silver and qualified their boat for the Tokyo Olympics.
Genevieve Horton is a NSWIS Graduate rowing athlete and will compete at her second Olympic Games in Tokyo.
In her first year wearing the green and gold, Horton paired with Jessie Allen to become 2013 junior world champions, while also forming part of the senior women’s eight that won gold at the World Rowing Cup in Sydney.
At the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Genevieve competed in the women’s double scull event at just 21-years of age, finishing 9th in tough rowing conditions.
In 2021, Genevieve was officially selected onto the Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo and will row as part of the Australian women’s eight.
Australian diver and NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder Sam Fricker will make his Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, competing in the men’s 10m platform event.
Born in Newcastle, Sam had a strong background in gymnastics and trampolining before taking up diving at age 11. Just a year into his new sport he won a regional and national school’s title.
In 2015 Sam was offered a New South Wales Institute of Sport scholarship and his family relocated to Sydney. At the 2015 National Age Diving Championship, Sam won gold in the 1m Springboard, 10m Platform and 3m Synchronised Springboard 12-13 age category events, as well as silver in the 3m Springboard, and was named Diver of the Year (12-13 years) by Diving Australia.
The young diver has won a slew of medals at junior national and international competition including bronze at the 2018 FINA World Junior Championships in the Mixed Team Event. In 2019 Sam became the first Australian to ever win the Dresden Youth International Diving Meet in the Boys Platform – winning by nearly 50 points
Sally Fitzgibbons will make history as a member of Australia’s first Olympic surfing team when the sport makes its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The Professional surfer Sally Fitzgibbons put the surfing world on notice when, at the age of 14, she won the ASP Pro Junior Open title competing against the best surfers around the world – some being seven years older.
Sally progressed through the international junior surfing rankings and at 16 she won her first world title at the 2007 ISA U18 World Championships. The following year she won the ASP U21 World Title and the ISA World Games Open Title.
Determined to reach the women’s elite World Surfing Tour, 17-year-old Sally became the youngest and fasted to qualify for the tour after winning the 2008 World Surf League Qualifying Series in her first five events. Sally finished her rookie tour season in 5th place and in 2011 won her first ASP World Tour event. Since then she has gone on to win one, or more, World Tour events in each year.
Spencer Turrin OAM
Two-time world champion rower, Spencer Turrin, is a dual Olympian having had made his Olympic debut at Rio 2016 and once again representing Australia at the Tokyo Olympic Games where he became an Olympic champion with his men’s coxless four team.
Hailing from Dundog in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Spencer took up rowing at high school in Sydney and went on to compete for Sydney Rowing Club. The NSWIS scholarship holder made his Australian representative debut at the 2011 World Rowing U23 Championships in Amsterdam, Netherlands in the men’s eight and was again selected in the men’s eight crew for the 2012 World Rowing U23 Championships where they claimed the bronze medal.
From 2013 to 2019 Spencer competed on the international circuit each consecutive year amassing five world championship medals, multiple world cup medals and a 6th place finish at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in the men’s pair.
Spencer and fellow NSWIS athlete Jack Hargreaves were members of the men’s four crew at the 2017 world championships who broke a 26-year drought since Australia last won the boat class.
Rower Sam Hardy is a world championship bronze medallist and is set to make his Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games where he will compete in the men’s pair.
Sam first took up rowing in high school and went on to attend Harvard where he rowed in the varsity men’s eight during his four years at the university. During this time, the NSWIS Graduate made his Australian representative debut at the 2015 U23 World Rowing Championships racing in the men’s coxed four which finished 5th. Racing again in the coxed four at the 2016 U23 World Championships, Sam and his crew claimed the bronze medal.
In 2019, Sam was selected on to the Australian senior team and raced in the men’s pair at the World Rowing Cup in Rotterdam, Netherlands with fellow Harvard graduate Josh Hicks, finishing in 7th place. Sam and Josh were again selected to race the men’s pair at the 2019 World Championships where a top 11 finish would qualify their boat for the Tokyo Olympics. The pair secured the bronze medal and Australia a berth at the Tokyo Games.
Australian rower Tara Rigney will compete at her first Olympic Games when she takes to the water at Tokyo 2020, competing in the women’s double sculls.
The Sydney-sider first took up rowing in high school but focused on netball and was named on the 2016 NSW Under 17 Development squad but two ACL injuries, each requiring 12 months rehabilitation, saw Tara pick up the oars again in 2018. The following year she was selected to represent Australia in the coxless pair at the World Rowing U23 Championships in the US where the crew finished in 10th place.
In 2019, the young rower claimed the national title in the U23 Women’s Pair and won the U23 single sculls at the NSW State Championship.
Tara Joined the Hancock Prospecting Women’s National Training Centre in 2021. At the 2021 Australian Rowing Championships, Tara claimed gold in the Open Women’s Single Sculls as well as the Nell Slatter Trophy for the Interstate Women’s Single Scull.
Amanda Spratt is an Olympic road cyclist who represented Australia at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and has been selected for her third Games at Tokyo 2020. The NSWIS scholarship holder is a three-time national champion and a world championship silver medallist.
Amanda began cycling at a young age, competing in National and international BMX events as a junior. At age 11 she represented Australia at the 1998 BMX World Championships in Melbourne before switching to road and track cycling. In 2004, Amanda competed at the World Junior Track Cycling Championships, the Youth Commonwealth Games, and the UCI Junior Road World Championships where she took bronze in the time trial.
In 2008, Amanda was diagnosed with Piriformis Syndrome. After surgery, she spent two years rehabilitating before returning to competition in 2010. The following year Amanda finished first at the Tour de Feminine Krasna Lipa in the Czech Republic.
Amanda won the road race at the 2012 Australian National Championships before making her Olympic debut in London where unfortunately torrential rain and hailstones derailed her campaign. After winning her second national road race title, Amanda returned to the Olympic arena in Rio where the road race was one of the most difficult in history. Amanda finished a commendable 15th; just four minutes behind the race winner.
Harriet Hudson is a member of the Australian Rowing Team and a NSWIS Graduate athlete and a two-two World Rowing U23 World Championship silver medallist.
Raised in Warwick in rural Queensland, Harriet took up rowing at boarding school in Brisbane. In 2016 she relocated to Sydney to undertake tertiary study and joined Sydney Rowing Club. At the 2016 Australian Rowing Championships, Harriet racing for Sydney Rowing Club, winning all three under 19 Australian national titles in the sculling boat classes. That same year she made her Australian representative debut at the 2016 World Junior Rowing Championships, placing sixth in the single scull.
The following year, Harriet was selected in the quadruple sculls crew for the 2017 World Rowing U23 Championships in Bulgaria, with fellow NSWIS athletes Rowena Meredith and Genevieve Horton, as well as Caitlin Cronin, with the crew winning silver.
The young rower was again named on the team for the 2018 World Rowing U23 Championships, this time in the double scull with Ria Thompson where they finished fifth. For the 2019 U23 Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton, Harriet partnered with Giorgia Patten in the double sculls. The duo rowed to a silver medal finishing behind Greece.
Eleanor Patterson is a member of the Australian Athletics team, an Olympian and a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder.
Making her international debut at the 2013 World Youth Championships, the high jumper won gold at the event and went on to break the Oceanian junior record in the same year.
In 2014, Patterson won her first national title at the Australian Athletics Championships and went on to win gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, becoming the third-youngest Australian Commonwealth Games champion ever.
In 2016, the NSWIS athlete competed at the Rio Olympics, after which she took a year off. Patterson returned to the sport and has since gone on to break a 31-year-old Australian record, jumping 1.99m in New Zealand.
Nick Hough is a member of the Australian Athletics team and a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder.
He will make his senior Olympic debut at the 2021 Tokyo Games, standing as the number two Australian all-time record holder in the 110m hurdles.
Hough made his international debut at the age of 16, at the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic Games winning gold. He followed this up in 2012 with silver at the IAAF World Junior Championships.
Nick continued his international development and in 2014 competed for Australia at the Commonwealth Games reaching the final. He then competed at his home Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018, claiming a bronze medal, and most recently competed at the 2019 Doha World Championships securing a semi-final spot.
Anneliese Rubie-Renshaw is a member of the Australian athletics team, an Olympian and a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder.
Rubie competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, qualifying for the semi-final in the 400m event and finishing in eighth place in the 4 x 400m relay.
She has secured top-10 finishes in both the 400m and 4 x 400m relay in both the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Stephanie Gilmore is a seven-time world surfing champion who will make history as one of Australia’s first Olympic surfers at Tokyo 2020 where the sport will make its debut on the world’s biggest sporting stage.
Hailing from the Tweed Shire in New South Wales, Steph entered her first senior world tour event in 2005 at the age of seventeen. During this breakout year, she won the Roxy Pro Gold Coast as a wild card entrant.
Stephanie won her first world title in 2007 and made history becoming the first surfer to do so in their rookie season. She went on to win four consecutive world titles; a feat no other female or male surfer has achieved in the history of surfing.
The surfer has been crowned world champion an incredible seven times and amassed over thirty WSL World Tour wins. She has been awarded the Laureus World Sports Award, considered the most prestigious award in action sports, as well as the ESPN ESPY for Best Female Action Sports Athlete twice.
Georgia Winkcup is a member of the Australian athletics team and a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder who will make her Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Hailing from Sydney, New South Wales, Winkcup began her international 3,000 metre steeplechase journey at the 2016 World Junior Championships where she claimed a top 20 placing.
She then went on to compete at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha and following positive results across 2020 and 2021, including a second place finish at the 2021 Australian Athletics Championships, Winkcup was selected for the Australian Olympic Team to compete in Tokyo.
Morgan McDonald is a member of the Australian Athletics team and a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder. He will make his Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Hailing from Sydney, New South Wales, McDonald competed internationally as a junior in both track and cross country, most notably gaining a top 10 placing at the 2014 World Junior Championships in the 5000m.
He then developed on to the senior stage and in 2017, competed at the world championships in London.
McDonald then competed at his home 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast where he gained a top 10 placing.
Swimmer and Olympic debutant Se-Bom Lee will represent Australia in the men’s 400m individual medley at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games.
At age four, Se-bom was learning to swim and by six had joined squad training. As he rose through the ranks, the young swimmer from Sydney amassed quite a medal collection from state and national junior swim meets. In 2018 he represented Australia at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Fiji.
Most recently at the 2019 Australian Age Swimming Championships, Se-Bom bagged five medals, including gold in the boys 17 years 200m backstroke, 200m and 400m individual medley (taking 4.19.10 off his previous best), as well as silver in the 200m backstroke and 100m freestyle events. Following his stand out performances, Se-Bom was selected onto the Australian team for the 2019 FINA World Junior Championships in Budapest where he swam a personal best to place 5th in the 200m medley.
Se-Bom took gold in the 400m individual medley at the 2021 NSW State Open Championships and at the 2021 Australian Swimming Trials, the 20-year-old claimed silver in the 400m, recording a personal best time and qualifying for his Olympic debut.
Tsuneari Yahiro is a member of the Australian Karate Federation and a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder.
He will make his Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games, becoming Australia’s first-ever Olympic ‘Karateka’ and will compete in the 75kg Kumite division in Tokyo as the sport makes its debut.
Boasting four Oceania Championships, Tsuneari locked in his Tokyo ticket by virtue of his international ranking.
Softballer Rachel Lack is a member of the Australian Women’s Softball Team, the Aussie Spirit. The NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder will compete at her first Olympics Games at Tokyo 2020, where softball makes its return for the first time since Beijing 2008.
Rachel took up softball as a child and played for her local club on Sydney’s North Shore, primarily as a catcher. She was inspired by her older cousin who was a pitcher for the Australian Women’s Baseball Team.
With her defensive versatility and strong batting skills, Rachel was offered a scholarship to study and play at the University of Hawaii in 2015. She spent two years in Hawaii before returning home to Australia where she rejoined the NSW senior team, the Firestars, going on to win a further five Gilley’s Shields. Rachel received another call up to Australian senior team for the 2016 World Championships.
Rachel was a member of the Aussie Spirit that won the Asia/Oceania Olympic Qualifier to secure the final berth for Tokyo 2020. She was announced as a member of the Australia Olympic Team for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics in July 2021.
Kieran Woolley is an Australian skateboarder and NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder. He will make his Olympic debut at the 2021 Tokyo Games, the first time skateboarding will be included at the Olympics.
Kieran has won numerous open and under-age Australian Skate League national street, park and bowl titles.
At only 14-year-old, Kieran was one of three Australians invited to compete at the Park Skateboarding World Championships in Nanjing, China in 2018.
In 2019, Kieran commenced his quest for Olympic qualification, competing in numerous international events, including making the semi-finals at the International Skateboarding Open and the quarter-finals in the Dew Tour.
Tarni Stepto is a pitcher for Australian Softball Team, the Aussie Spirit, and will compete at her first Olympics Games at Tokyo 2020, with the sport making its return for the first time since Beijing 2008.
First taking to the diamond at age six, Tarni played for her local club on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. In 2015, she was selected to the Under 17 NSW Team and at the 2016 Under 17 Girl’s National Championship, the young pitcher won MVP, Best Pitcher, and Player of the Grand Final. Her strong performances earned her a spot on the Australian team for the 2017 Junior Women’s World Championship.
Elevated to the senior Australian team the following year, Tarni made her debut at the 2018 Asia Cup and was later selected onto the Aussie Spirit team for the 2018 World Championships in Japan. A pitcher and a slugger, Tarni offers a dual weapon to the Aussie Spirit.
Tarni relocated to the USA in 2019 to play for Salt Lake City Community College where she led the team in batting average and was awarded Scenic West Athletic Conference Pitcher-of-the-Year. In 2020, she signed with Oregon State University, while also being a member of the Aussie Peppers team, who play in the US National Pro Fastpitch League, as part of a partnership with Softball Australia.
Kaia Parnaby is a pitcher for the Australian Women’s softball team, the Aussie Spirit, and has represented Australia at five World Championships winning two Bronze medals. The NSWIS scholarship holder will make her Olympic debut when she steps up to the pitcher’s circle at Tokyo 2020.
For Kaia, her Olympic spirit may have in fact ignited at age 10 when her primary school was chosen to perform at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Closing and Opening Ceremonies and also attended an Australia vs Italy softball match. The following year Kaia played her first game of softball in her primary school PE class where her teacher was also a local softball club coach. Her natural ability to pitch was then realised at a testing clinic and she was taken under the wing of the club pitching coach.
Dominating at the Junior level, the left handed pitcher was named in the NSW under 16 team at the age of 14 and won five Best Pitcher Awards at the junior level. Since then she has won six Gilley’s Shields withe the NSW Women’s Open Team, The Firestars.
Joining NSWIS in 2006, Kaia trained with the senior Australian players who were headed to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, giving her a glimpse of what it would be like to play at that level.
Softballer Jade Wall is a member of the Australian Women’s Team, the Aussie Spirit, and is part of the Australian Olympic Team for the Tokyo 2020 Games where softball makes its return the Olympic program after a 13-year hiatus.
Jade was raised in Hervey Bay, Queensland and began playing softball at age nine. She made her Queensland state representative debut in 2005 at the U16 Girls’ National Championships. In 2007, the young player was a member of the Australian Junior Women’s Team that won bronze at the 2007 Junior World Championships.
In 2009, Jade made her debut for the senior Queensland team, who that year won the Gilley’s Shield. She was then selected on to the Australian Senior Team and made her debut at the 2009 Canada Cup, going on to represent Australia at the 2016 and 2018 Softball World Championships.
After relocating to NSW, Jade teamed up with the New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) in 2018 and also remains a member of the Aussie Peppers team who play in the US National Pro Fastpitch League, as part of a partnership with Softball Australia.
Mackenzie Little is a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder who gained junior international medal success in javelin when she won gold at the 2013 World Youth Championships.
Hailing from Sydney, New South Wales, Mackenzie then progressed onto the senior stage and claimed notable records during her college career at Stanford University, USA. Having just missed out on selection for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, the javelin thrower turned her focus towards on Tokyo.
Moving back to Sydney to study medicine, she joined the prolific Sydney University Athletics Club. Following a third-place finish at the 2021 Australian Athletics Championships and with impressive and consistent throws, she was selected for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Australian softballer Michelle Cox is a member of the women’s national team, the Aussie Spirit and a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder.
Therepresented Australia at the 2012 Softball World Cup, where the Spirit won Bronze.
Taking up baseball when she was seven, Michelle made the switch to softball at age 12 and quickly climbed the ranks. In 2006 she was selected onto the NSW Under 16s team. She has gone on to win four Gilley’s Shield with the NSW Women’s Open Team, the Firestars.
At 18, the NSWIS scholarship holder was named on the Australian Senior Team and made her first appearance at the 2009 International Southern Challenge in New Zealand where she made three hits including a home run. A few months later she competed at the Japan Cup.
Stacey McManus is a member of the Australian Women’s Softball team, the Aussie Spirit, playing shortstop and second base. The NSWIS scholarship holder has represented Australia at four Softball World Championships, claiming bronze medals in 2012 and 2014, and will make her Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Hailing from the Sutherland Shire region of Sydney, Stacey first took to the diamond at the age of four playing for her local club. In 2005, Stacey was selected on the NSW Under 16s team and went on to play in the NSW junior teams for the next three years. She then made her debut for the senior team, the NSW Firestars, in 2009, going on to win seven Gilley’s Shields with the Firestars.
Catching the attention of national selectors, the second base specialist was invited to a training cup in 2009 and made her debut for the Australian senior team at the 2011 Canada Cup. The following year she played in a test series against New Zealand, lining up against her sister Brooke who at the time was a member of the New Zealand women’s national team.
Stacey relocated to the US in 2017 to play for the Chicago Bandits in the National Pro Fastpitch League. In 2018, as part of a partnership with Softball Australia, the Aussie Peppers joined the National Pro Fastpitch League. Stacey played with the Peppers throughout 2018/2019 and is a current member of the team.
Dominic Clarke is an Australian trampoline gymnast and NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder who will make his Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Following significant success in the junior international trampoline ranks, Dominic successfully transitioned to the senior international level in 2015, and has since won numerous Australian titles.
Competing at his first Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships in 2015, Dominic partnered with Matthew Weal in the synchronised event where the pair placed fourth. Dominic and his Australian Team mates also placed fourth in the Men’s team double mini.
At the 2017 World Championships in Bulgaria Dominic was part of the double mini men’s team that claimed Bronze. Dominic partnered with Ty Swadling in the synchronised event at 2018 World Championships. The pair’s outstanding routine earned them third place on the podium.
Captain of the Australian softball team Stacey Porter is a two-time Olympian, having previously competed at Athens, 2004 and Beijing, 2008 Olympic Games, where she won silver and bronze respectively. After softball was excluded from the Olympic program following the Beijing Games, Stacey has long awaited her return to the world’s biggest sporting stage. With the sport’s return at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Stacey will now represent Australia at her third Olympics and look to lead the team to gold.
Born and raised in Tamworth, Stacey began playing at softball at age five and was a standout junior player competing at the Under 16 and Under 19 National Championships where she was named best batter three years in a row. She was selected on to the Australian team for the 1999 Junior Women’s World Championships. In 2002, the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder made her debut for the Australian senior team at age 20 during a tour of Japan.
Stacey was selected onto the Australia team for the Athens, 2004 Olympics. The team claimed the silver with Stacey hitting a double to help Australia score its only run in the gold medal match against the USA. She returned the Olympic arena for Beijing, 2008 where the team came away with bronze.
With over 400 appearances, Stacey is the most capped Australian player and has captained the team since 2010. She has represented Australia at six world championships, winning three bronze medals.
Andrew Ford is member of the Australian Men’s Water Polo Team, the Aussie Sharks. He holds a dual scholarship with the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) and the Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS). Andrew will compete at his first Olympics at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, alongside his brother and fellow teammate George.
After representing Australia at the 2015 junior world championships, Andrew made his way into the senior squad and debuted for the Aussie Sharks in 2017 winning gold at the 2017 FINA World League Intercontinental Cup.
Andrew was a member of the Sharks team that claimed silver at the 2018 FINA World Cup and bronze at the 2019 FINA World Super League Final.
Rio Olympian George Ford is a member of the Australian Men’s Water Polo Team. He will compete at his second Olympics at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where he will be joined by his younger brother and teammate, Andrew.
George debuted for the Aussie Sharks at the 2013 Danube Cup where the team won gold. He went on to compete at the 2015 FINA World Championships before being selected to his first Australian Olympic Team for Rio 2016, where the team placed ninth.
George claimed silver medals at the 2018 FINA World Cup and the 2018 FINA World League Intercontinental Cup and then bronze at the 2019 FINA World League Super Final.
Making the move to Europe in 2017, George played for VK Primorjein the Croatian league before moving to Spanish club side Mataro.
Water polo player Tim Putt is a centre back for the Australian Men’s Team, the Aussie Sharks. He holds a dual scholarship with the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) and the Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS). He will make his Olympic Debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
A young gun who rose quickly through the ranks, Tim debuted for the Aussie Sharks in 2017. He was a member of the Aussie Sharks team that competed at the 2017 FINA World Championships and also a part of the Australian Junior Team for the FINA Junior Water Polo Championships.
In 2018, Tim and the Aussie Sharks claimed silver at the FINA World League Intercontinental Cup and another silver at the FINA World Cup. The following year he added a bronze after the Sharks defeated Spain in the bronze medal match at the FINA World League Super Final.
Tim also competed in the Croatian Professional League playing for Primorje.
Goran Tomasevic is a member of the Australian men’s water polo team and a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder. He will make his Olympic debut when he takes to the pool at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Growing up in Croatia, Goran began playing water polo at age six. In 2009 he took up a scholarship at the University of the Pacific in North California where he spent four years playing for the university’s water polo team, the Tigers. A standout player for the Tigers, Goran captained the team, amassed over 200 career goals and was named AWPCA All-American three times.
After his graduation from University of the Pacific, Goran relocated to Australia to take up an internship at Macquarie Group in Sydney where he joined Sydney University Lions. In 2018 he helped the Lions to gold in the Australian Water Polo League.
Goran, a newly minted Australian citizen, was elevated to the Aussie Sharks squad and was named on the Australian Olympic Team for the Tokyo Olympics.
Water polo player Nathan Power is a member of the Australian men’s water polo and who will compete at his first Olympic Games when he takes to the pool at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Hailing from Newcastle, Nathan debuted for the Aussie Sharks at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Spain where the team finished eighth, A few weeks late the the 20-year-old represented Australia at the World Junior Water Polo Championships in Hungary.
The centre-back was a member of the Aussie Sharks team that claimed silver at the 2018 FINA World League Intercontinental Cup, followed by another silver at the 2018 FINA World Cup and then a gold medal at the FINA World League Super Final.
In 2016 Nathan relocated to Europe to play in the Croatian water polo league where he played for several seasons before moving to Spain in 2020 after signing with Club Natació Barcelona
Water polo player Anthony Hrysanthos is a goalkeeper for the Australian men’s team, the Aussie sharks, and will make his first Olympic appearance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Anthony took up water polo at 10 and discovered his talent in goals almost immediately when he volunteered to take over in the net when the team’s regular keeper was away. In 2015 he represented Australia at the FINA World Junior Championships where the team placed eight.
The young keeper made his debut for the Australian senior team in 2017, The following year at the FINA World League Intercontinental Cup Anthony and the Sharks came away with silver.
The NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) athlete has since gone on to win silver at the BENU Cup and then another silver at the FINA World Cup in Germany and bronze at the 2019 FINA World League Super Final in Serbia. In 2018 he signed on to play for Vouliagmeni in the Greek professional league and also competed with the club in the Champions League Qualifiers and the Euro Cup.
Three-time Olympian Richard Campbell is a senior member of the Australian men’s water polo team, the Aussie Sharks. He will make his fourth Olympic team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Born and raised in Newcastle, Richard took up water polo at age 10 and went on to represent Australia at the 2005 FINA Junior World Championships. He was named on the senior men’s team the following year and has been a consistent member of the squad since.
After claiming back-to-back bronze medals at the 2007 and 2008 FINA World League Finals, the centre back made his Olympic debut at the Beijing, 2008 Games where he was the youngest member of the Aussie Sharks team. In 2009 Richard claimed gold at the World University Games and competed at his first World Championships where the Sharks placed tenth.
Competing at his second Olympics at London, 2012, Richard netted eight goals for Australia who finished seventh. Four years later in Rio, he scored another eight goals for Australia who placed eighth.
Dual Olympian Joel Dennerley is a goalkeeper for the Australian men’s water polo team, the Aussie Sharks and is NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder. He represented Australia at the London, 2012 and Rio, 2016 Olympics and will guard the net at his third Olympics when he takes to the pool at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The Sydney-sider represented Australia at the 2007 Junior World Championships and made his debut for the Aussie sharks the following year. In 2008, Joel relocated to the US to study and play water polo for the University of Southern California where he helped the team to four consecutive NCAA Championships, was four-time All-American and held the record for all-time career saves.
Joel was outstanding in the cage throughout the Rio 2016 Olympics with 29 saves from 51 shots, earning him the titles of sixth best goalkeeper in the world. He has gone on to claim silver with the Sharks at the 2018 FINA World Cup and bronze at the 2019 World League Super Final.
Water polo player Blake Edwards is a member of the Australian men’s water polo team, the Aussie Sharks. He will make his debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games alongside his brother and Sharks teammate Lachlan.
Blake competed at the 2009 and 2010 Junior World Championships and captained the Australia team at the 2013 and 2015 University Games. In 2015 he moved to the US to study at the University of Southern California and joined the USC Trojans. In his first season with the Trojans he was the team’s top scorer and was awarded All-American First Team.
Most recently the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder was part of the Sharks team that claimed Silver at the 2018 FINA World Cup in Germany and Bronze at the 2019 FINA Water Polo World League Final in Serbia.
Lachlan Edwards is a member of the Australian men’s water polo team, the Aussie Sharks. He will make his Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, alongside his brother and Sharks teammate Blake.
Lachlan made his Australian representative debut at the 2012 Fina World Youth Championships where the team placed seventh and the following year he competed at the FINA World Junior Championships. Following in older brother Blake’s footsteps, Lachlan moved to the US in 2014 to study at the University of Southern California and joined the university’s water polo team the Trojans. He scored 144 career goals which ranked 18th all-time in scoring.
In 2017 the centre-forward was part of the Aussie Sharks team which achieved seventh place at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Hungary, the best finish by an Australian men’s side since 2003. Lachlan went on to claim silver with his Sharks teammates at the 2018 BENU Cup , another silver at the 2018 FINA World Cup in Germany and bronze at the bronze at the 2019 FINA World League Super Final.
With the postponement of the Tokyo Games, Edwards relished the opportunity to head overseas, where he played for Spanish club CE Mediterrani.
Alexander Purnell OAM
NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) graduate rowing athlete Alexander Purnell is a world championship medallist and Olympic gold medallist.
Alex represented Australia at the 2013 World Rowing Junior Championships in Trakai, Lithuania before progressing into the U23 Australian squad. In 2015, Alex and the Men’s quadruple sculls crew finished on the podium with a bronze medal at the U23 world rowing championships.
In 2017 Alex was elevated to the senior squad and competed throughout the international season in the men’s eight boat. This culminated in a silver medal at the 2017 world rowing cup in Lucerne, Switzerland and a B Final placing at the 2017 world rowing championships.
The Sydney sider moved across to the men’s quadruple sculls boat in 2018 and secured a silver medal with his crew, including fellow NSWIS athlete Campbell Watts, at the 2018 World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Pitcher Gabbie Plain is a member of the Australian women’s softball team, the Aussie Spirit, and will compete at her first Olympic Games when she takes to the field at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Gabbie first started playing softball at age six for her local club in Macarthur in south-west Sydney. On debut for NSW at the 2014 U17 Girl’s National Championship, Gabbie put the competition on notice pitching 19 scoreless innings with 31 strikeouts. Continuing her exceptional form at the junior level, Gabbie was selected onto the Australia under 19 team for the 2016 Junior Women’s Softball World Cup.
The following year the pitcher was elevated to the Australian senior team and made her debut at the 2016 Japan Cup at 18 years of age.
Gabbie’s continued dominance in the circle saw her selected for her second Junior World Championships in 2017 and earned her multiple accolades, including four consecutive best pitcher awards at the Under 17, Under 18 and Under 23 Girl’s National Softball Championships.
Softballer Taylah Tsitsikronis is a catcher and first baseman in the Australian Softball Team who made her Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 where softball made its return to the Olympic program – 13 years since it last featured at Beijing 2008.
First taking up Softball at age six, Taylah soared through the junior ranks. Selected on to the Under 16 NSW Team for the 2009 National Championships, where NSW claimed victory, going on to claim four consecutive national titles with NSW at the Under 16 and Under 19 level. She would later go on to win six national titles with the NSW open team, the Firestars. Her stand-out performance earned her a spot on the Australian Junior Team for the 2011 and 2013 Junior Women’s Softball World Championship with the team winning bronze in 2013.
The following year Taylah made her Australian Senior Team debut at the 2014 Women’s Softball World Championships in the Netherlands where she bought home another bronze medal. A consistent member of the team since her debut, the NSW Institute of Sport scholarship holder represented Australia at the 2016 and 2018 World Championships.
Hailing from Penrith, Taylah relocated to the USA in 2016 to play in the National Pro Fastpitch League for the Pennsylvania Rebellion and then the Chicago Bandits. She began playing for the Aussie Peppers in 2018, when they joined the Fast Pitch League as part of an arrangement with Softball Australia and is a current member of the team.
Emily Chalker is a member of the Australian women’s hockey team, the Hockeyroos, and a dual Olympian who will compete at her third Olympic games at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Hailing from the small county town of Crookwell, in the NSW southern tablelands, Emily’s love for hockey started at age five. Fast forward 14 years and Emily was making her senior national team debut at the 2011 Oceania Cup against New Zealand. The then 19-year-old scored her first international goal in the second game of the competition and came home with the silver medal from the tournament.
The following year Emily was named in the squad to compete at the 2012 London Olympic Games – she was the youngest member of the team. The Hockeyroos went on to achieve a fifth place finish.
The forward helped the team to a gold medal at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, followed by silver medals at both the 2014 World Cup in the Hague and Champions Trophy in Mendoza. Emily was named on her second Olympic team for the Rio 2016 Games where Australia reached the reached the quarter finals.
Cate Campbell OAM
Cate Campbell OAM is an Australian swimmer, five-time Olympic medallist, four-time world champion and an NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder.
As a three-time Olympian, Cate has won two Olympic gold medals as part of Australia’s victorious women’s 4x100m freestyle relay teams in London 2012 and Rio 2016. The Northern Metro Swimming Hub athlete has also claimed one Olympic silver (Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay, Rio 2016) and two bronze medals (Women’s 50m Freestyle and 4x100m Freestyle Relay, Beijing 2008).
At the FINA World Aquatics Championships, Campbelll won gold in the women’s 100m freestyle (Barcelona 2013), women’s 4x100m freestyle relay (Kazan 2015, Gwangju 2019) and mixed 4×100 medley relay (Gwangju 2019).
Under the long-term coaching expertise of Simon Cusack, Cate has also won six Commonwealth Games titles and nine Pac Pacific Championships.
Bronte Campbell OAM won gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
She has been highly successful on the international stage, winning gold at major events since 2014.
Bronte won two three gold medals at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, and more recently claimed two golds at the Gwangju 2019 World Aquatics Championships.
Matthew Wilson is a breaststroke swimmer who won gold in the 4x100m mixed medley and silver in the 200m breaststroke at the Gwangju 2019 World Aquatics Championships.
In 2018, Matthew was successful in achieving gold in the 4x100m mixed medley relay and bronze in the 200m breaststroke at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Sarah Carli is a member of the Australian Athletics team and a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder who will make her Olympic debut at the 2021 Tokyo Games.
Hailing from Wollongong in New South Wales, Carli marked her international status when at the 2011 World Youth Championships she claimed silver in the 400m hurdles.
Following a series of injury setbacks, Sarah returned to competition in 2018 and progressed on to earn selection for the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha where she achieved a semi-final placing. Following this career highlight, in December 2020 she ran a new PB of 55.09 and in doing so gained herself an Olympic qualification time for the Tokyo Games.
Unfortunately, Sarah sustained a life-threatening injury while training in February 2021, putting her Olympic preparations on halt. Following surgery and a long rehabilitation process, Sarah was officially named to represent Australia at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Steve Solomon is a member of the Australian athletics team, an Olympian and a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder. He is a five-time Australian 400m Champion, and placed eighth in the men’s 400m final at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, becoming the first Australian man in 24 years to reach the 400m final at the Olympics.
Hailing from Sydney, Solomon only began formal track training in 2009 and won the Under-17 All-Schools Championship in the 400m event that year. He won gold in the 4 x 400m relay at the Oceania Youth Championships in 2010 and went on to break the 30-year-old national junior record in the 400m in 2011.
After missing out on qualification for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio by one-10th of a second, Solomon achieved two top-ten placings at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2019 World Relay Championships in Japan.
Solomon competed at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha and successfully gained selection for his second Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021.
Oliver Hoare is a member of the Australian Athletics team and a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder who will make his Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Hoare is the Australian indoor 1500-metre record holder, having set a time of 3:32.35 in February 2021, which was also the seventh fastest all-time 1500m.
He studied and was part of the track team for the University of Wisconsin in America through his college years and is now a professional athlete.
Emma Jeffcoat is an Australian triathlete and NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship athlete who will make her Olympic debut at the 2021 Toyko Games.
After turning pro in 2015, Jeffcoat has enjoyed wins at ITU World Cup events in Mooloolaba and Chengdu in 2018 and Tiszaujvaros in 2019. Additionally, she has been part of the successful Australian mixed relay team and took the win in Abu Dhabi in 2019.
Emma has also been a regular on the Super League Triathlon circuit, showing great consistency in the 2018 season by securing four top-ten finishes from four events to end the season ninth in the championship series standings.
Aaron Royle is an Australian triathlete, dual Olympian and NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder.
In 2009 he represented Australia for the first time. He competed in the Youth Olympics and then at the junior world championships. Since then, Aaron has been competing around the world on the ITU circuit.
The former U23 world champion placed third in the ITU World Triathlon Series in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and won a bronze medal in the mixed relay event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
He made his Olympic debut at the Rio 2016 Games after he secured Australia’s first triathlon quota spot having finished 6th at the 2015 Rio Test Event. His performance at Rio placed him 9th in the end.
Lachlan Sharp is a midfielder with the Australian men’s hockey team the Kookaburras.
Hailing from Lithgow in the central tablelands of New South Wales, Lachlan grew up playing for his local club and at 13 joined Ryde Hockey Club – along with his dad who took up a coaching role. Both father and son would make the long commute from Lithgow to Sydney and back three times a week. The dedication and sacrifice would pay off with Lachlan working his way onto the Australian U21 team for the 2016 Hockey Junior World Cup in India where the Australians finished fourth.
After getting the call up to the senior squad, Lachlan made his debut for the Kookaburras at the 2017 World League Final in India and brought home a gold medal. A few months later Lachlan scored the winning goal for Australia in the final of the 2018 Azlan Shah Cup before being named in the squad for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, where he would add another gold medal to the cabinet. Lachlan and the Kookaburras claimed the 2018 Champions Trophy in The Netherlands.
The gold medals continued for Lachlan into 2019 with the Kookaburras winning the inaugural FIH Pro League and then with NSW Pride as they claimed the inaugural Hockey One competition.
Hailing from Duffys Forest in the Northern Beaches region of New South Wales, Shane began riding at age five and took part in many disciplines before settling on eventing. In 1994, a 21 year old Shane represented Australia in the Young Rider Trans-Tasman competition.
Shane was selected to the Australian team for the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games but his horse went lame upon arrival in the USA and he was unable to compete. In 1998 Shane competed at the World Equestrian Games in Rome.
Shane competed at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and was part of the team that won a silver medal in Team Eventing.
Selected again for the London 2012 Olympics, Shane was forced to withdraw just days prior to the Games when his horse suffered a minor injury. He went on to compete at the 2014 World Equestrian Games where the Australian Team placed fifth.
Three-time Olympian Stuart Tinney OAM won a gold medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympics and bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Growing up in Gladstone in Queensland, Stuart mustered cattle on his parent’s property and began competing at age eight. He first competed on the international stage in 1988 at the World Equestrian Games in Stockholm, Sweden.
Making his Olympic debut on home soil at the Sydney 200 Olympics, Stuart was a member of the gold medal winning eventing team. He went on to compete at the Athens 2004 Olympics where the eventing team placed 6th.
Stuart continued to compete nationally and internationally and in 2016 returned to the Olympic stage in Rio where he and fellow NSWIS athlete Shane Rose won a bronze medal in Team Eventing.
Hockey player Blake Govers is a member of the Australian national hockey team, the Kookaburras, playing in the position of forward.
Blake, from Albion Park in Shellharbour, NSW, rose through the ranks of local and state hockey and was named in the Australian men’s under-21 for the 2013 Junior World Cup. In 2015 he scored on debut for the Kookaburras at the Hobart International Challenge. After an impressive performance for the Kookaburras at the 2015 World League where he was awarded top goal scorer of the tournament, Blake was selected to the Kookaburras squad for the Rio 2016 Olympics. The Kookaburras secured a top six finish in Rio.
In 2018, Blake was part of the World Cup bronze medal winning team, where he was joint top scorer. In 2019 he continued his medal successes helping Australia to gold at both the FIH Pro League in Amstelveen and Oceania Cup in Rockhampton. After his successful playing year he was nominated for the FIH Rising Star of the Year Award.
In 2019, Blake was a member of the NSW Pride team that took out the inaugural Hockey One competition. He has played abroad for Wimbledon Hockey Club and Bloemendaal in the Netherlands.
Flynn Ogilvie plays midfield in the Australian men’s hockey team, the Kookaburras.
Hailing from Woonona in Wollongong, Flynn discovered hockey at age five and had a decorated junior career, including a representative debut for Australia at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games where the Australians won gold.
Making his senior international debut in 2014 in a test series against India, Flynn has since been a regular feature in the squad – winning gold medals at the 2015 and 2019 Oceania Cup and the Champions Trophy in 2016 and 2018.
Flynn was part of the Kookaburras team that won gold at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2019 FIH Pro League in the Netherlands, and bronze at the 2018 FIH World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India.
Tom Craig is a member of the Australian men’s hockey team the Kookaburras, and plays as a midfielder.
While living in Canada as a child, Tom experienced Ice Hockey and after returning to Australia he decided to take up field hockey at his local club in Sydney. He earned selection to the U21 Australian team and won gold at the 2013 Australian Youth Olympics.
In 2014 Tom made his first appearance for the senior team against India at a test series in Perth before going on to win a bronze medal at the 2014 Champions Trophy. He has been a regular member of the Kookaburras squad since his debut.
Tom was part of the gold medal winning team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and also claimed bronze at the 2018 world cup in India where he scored a hat trick in the bronze medal match against England.
Nicholas Lavery is a member of the Australian Rowing Team and will make his Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, competing in the men’s eight.
Raised in Victoria, Nicholas began rowing in high school before relocating to NSW and joining UTS Rowing Club.
The NSWIS Graduate athlete made his Australian representative debut at the 2019 U23 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton, rowing in the men’s coxless four alongside his younger brother Rohan. The crew placed 9th Overall.
In 2020, the young rower was selected into the Men’s National Training Centre and was selected into the Men’s Eight crew for the Tokyo Olympics.
Taekwondo athlete Safwan Khalil competed at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games and will become Australia’s first ever male Taekwondo athlete to compete at three Olympic Games when takes to the ring at the Tokyo 2020 games.
Born in Tripoli, Lebanon Safwan’s family moved to Sydney when he was just a baby. Taking up the sport as a young child along with his brothers, Safwan rose through the junior ranks and in 2002 he represented Australia at the 2002 World Youth Championships. The following he competed at the Asian Championships where he won gold in the youth category.
Advancing on to the senior competition circuit, Safwan has represented Australia at every World Taekwondo Championships since 2005.
In 2011, Safwan became the first Australian to win gold at a benchmark event with a monumental triumph at the 2011 World Universiade. The following year he made his Olympic debut at London 2012 where he earned a spot in the bronze medal match but was defeated by Russian Alexey Denisenko. Returning to the Olympic arena at Rio 2016, Safwan progressed to the quarter finals but was eliminated, finishing in 7th place.
Para archer Imalia Oktrininda will make her Paralympic debut at Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games where she will compete in the women’s individual recurve open and the mixed teams recurve.
With an opportunity for Australia to obtain additional qualification spots for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, Imalia travelled to the Czech republic to compete at the Para Archery World Ranking and Final Paralympic Qualification Tournament. The NSWIS scholarship holder claimed gold in the women’s recurve open, defeating Nataliya Malykh.
Paralympian Guy Henly represented Australia in discus F37 at the Rio 2016 Paralympics and is a four-time world championship medallist. He will return to the Paralympic arena at the Tokto 2020 Games.
Guy, who is from Sydney, was first introduced to discus and shot put at a Paralympics Australia Talent Day in 2010. Eight months later he won gold at the 2011 Arafura Games in Darwin.
At his first IPC Athletics World Championships in 2013 in France, Guy claimed bronze in the Men’s Discus Throw F37/38. He went one better at the 2015 World Championships taking silver.
Selected onto the Australian Team for the 2016 Rio Paralympics, the discus thrower finished just outside the medals.
Three-time Paralympian Rosemary Little represented Australia in wheelchair racing at London 2012 and Rio 2016 and in shot put at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Rosemary first took up wheelchair racing after attending a Wheelchair Sports NSW ‘Come and Try’ day in 2003. She excelled in the sport immediately but unfortunately was just 0.02 second short of qualifying for the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. Rosemary then took a hiatus from the sport, returning in 2011.
The Queensland-born, Sydney local was selected onto the Australian Team for the London 2012 Paralympics where she won bronze in the 100m T34. The following year she added to her medal tally, picking up silver in the 200m T34 and bronze in the 100m T34 at the 2013 IPC World Para Athletics Championships in France.
In the lead up to the Rio 2016 Olympics, Rosemary was again selected to represent Australia at the 2015 IPC World Para Athletics Championships but was admitted to hospital the day before competition and was forced to withdraw. Recovering in time for selection, Rosemary was named on the Australia Team for the Rio 2016 Paralympics where she achieved top -five finishes in the 100m T34, 400m T34 and 800m T34.
Boccia athlete Spencer Cotie is a world championship silver medallist who will make his Paralympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Spencer, who is from Sydney’s Northern Beaches, started competing in 2010 when he was still in primary school and quickly rose through the ranks.
In 2014 Spencer was made his Australian representative debut at the BISFed World Open in Hong Kong, where he teamed up for the first time with fellow NSWIS athlete and his role model Daniel Michel to win silver in the mixed pairs BC3. Since then their partnership has become a huge success.
The duo together with Jamieson Leeson, also an NSWIS scholarship holder, competed at in the BC3 Pairs the 2019 BISFed Boccia Asia-Oceania Regional Championships where they claimed bronze.
Wheelchair Basketballer Brett Stibners is three-time Paralympian and a World Championship Gold Medallist. He has been selected to compete at Tokyo 2020 Games – his fourth Paralympics.
Hailing from Shellharbour New South Wales, Brett began his elite sporting career in indoor hockey and in 2001 was selected onto the senior Australian indoor hockey team. Shortly after his selection Brett was involved in a car accident leaving him with irreparable damage to his right leg which had to be amputated above the knee.
Brett started playing wheelchair basketball in 2003 and remarkably made his international debut for the Australian senior team, the Rollers, that same year at the Gold Cup (now the IWBF World Championships).
Brett made his Paralympic debut at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics where the Rollers defeated Canada, the reigning Paralympic champions, in the gold medal match.
Swimmer Timothy Hodge represented Australia at the Rio 2016 Olympics and will return to the Paralympic arena for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Timothy took up swimming at age four as part of his rehabilitation after having his right foot amputated due to a lower leg deficiency. At nine he began swimming competitively and at 14 was selected to his first Australian team for the 2015 World Para Swimming Championships in Glasgow, making the final in the men’s 100 backstroke S9.
The following year he was named on the Australian Team for the 2016 Rio Paralympics. The then 15-year-old put in a stellar performance making the final in the 200m individual medley SM9 and the 100m backstroke S9 and finishing just outside the medals with the men’s 4×100 medley team.
At the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, Timothy will compete in the 100m backstroke S9, 100m butterfly S9 and the 100m individual medley SM9.
Brodie Smith is a member of the Australian Women’s Goalball Team, the Aussie Belles, and will make her Paralympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
First introduced to the sport in 2014, Brodie led the Australian youth team to a gold medal at the 2017 World Youth Championships in Hungary. The following year she was selected as a member the Aussie Belles Women’s squad for the 2018 IBSA Goalball World Championships in Sweden, where the Australian women’s team made the quarter finals for the first time in history.
The NSWIS scholarship holder was a member of the Belle’s team that competed at the 2019 IBSA Goalball International Qualifier with the hopes of qualifying Australia for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. A fourth place secured the Belle’s their ticket to Tokyo and Brodie was named on the Australian Paralympic Team for the postponed Tokyo Games in June 2021.
Para swimmer Jasmine Greenwood is a world championship medallist who will make her Paralympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics as one of the youngest member of the Australian Team.
Hailing from Sussex Inlet in NSW, Jasmine first started competing at age 10 and before she was even a teenager had representing Australia. Making her international debut at the 2017 Canadian Open the 12-year-old announced herself to the world by winning bronze in the women’s 100 backstroke (SB9). The following year the rising star was selected onto the Australia Team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The youngest athlete from any sport to represent Australia at the event, the 13-year-old placed a commendable fifth in both the women’s 100 breaststroke (SB9) and women’s 200m individual medley (S10).
Competing at her first World Championship in 2019, the NSWIS scholarship holder claimed bronze in the Women’s 100m butterfly and finished just outside of the medals in both the 100m Backstroke (S10) and 200m individual medley (SM10).
At the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, Jasmine will compete in four events – the women’s 100m freestyle (S10), women’s 100m backstroke (S10), women’s 100m butterfly (S10) and the women’s 200m individual medley (SM10)
Dual sport Paralympian Michael Auprince represented Australia in swimming at the London 2012 Paralympic Games before switching to wheelchair basketball. He is a member of the Australian Rollers Team that will compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Michael, who hails from Sydney, took up swimming as a form of therapy after having his left leg amputated at age 10. He dominated at junior events and went on to make his international swimming debut in 2009. The following year he made the 100m backstroke at the IPC Swimming World Championships. Selected on to the Australian Team for the London 2012 Paralympics, Michael competed in multiple events and helped Australia to gold in the 4x100m freestyle (34 points) and bronze 4x 100m medley (34 points).
Following the London Paralympics, Michael switched his focus to wheelchair basketball, another sport he had participated in growing up. He represented Australia at the 2013 IWBF Under 23 World Championships where the team won bronze.
In 2015, Michael relocated to the USA to play wheelchair basketball for the University of Alabama (UA). During his four years at UA he won two College National Championships. In the Australian Wheelchair Basketball League Michael played with the Wollongong Rollerhawks before joining the Perth Wheelcats. Currently he play professionally in Germany.
Ashley Van Rijswijk
Para swimmer Ashley Van Rijswijk will wear the green and gold for the first time at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, where she will contend the 100m breaststroke (SB14) and the 200m individual medley (SM14).
A passion for swimming runs deep in the Van Rijswijk family. Ashley’s grandparents ran a swim club and her father was a competitive swimmer. Raised in Tumut in the Riverina region of NSW, Ashley and her family would rise at 3.30am to commute 90 minutes to Wagga Wagga for her training, before returning for school.
In the lead up to Tokyo the NSWIS scholarship holder claimed a silver and bronze medal in the 50m breaststroke and the 100m breaststroke respectively at the 2021 Australian Age Championships.
Her performance at the Australian Swimming Trials two months later, where she swam fastest in the 100m breaststroke heats and placed second in the final, saw her selected onto the Australian Paralympic Team for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Tom Birtwhistle is a member of the Australian Rowing Team and will make his Paralympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
A promising young athlete, Tom rowed competitively throughout his high school years. In 2010, not long after graduating he was struck by a car while cycling to rowing training. The accident caused an impairment to his hip, leg and sacral pelvis. Tom made a brief return to rowing in 2013 before focusing on his university studies and working career.
In 2020 Tom’s passion for rowing was reignited and he returned to UTS Rowing Club. At the 2021 Australian Rowing Championships, Tom won gold in the PR3 Men’s Single Sculls. To meet classification and eligibility requirements for the PR3 Paralympic rowing category Tom travelled to Italy in June 2021 for the International Para Rowing Regatta where he won the PR3 Men’s Single Sculls event.
Tom will compete alongside fellow NSWIS athlete James Talbot in the PR3 Mixed Cox Four event at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Para dressage rider Victoria Davies will make her Paralympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games where she will compete in the team test to music and the Individual test – Grade II events.
Hailing from Bolong in Shoalhaven NSW, Victoria’s love of horse riding started early. Her mother was a successful rider and her parents breed horses. She started competing at age three but at age nine she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and was too weak to ride.
Following two hip replacements, Victoria was able to start riding again when she was 19 and shortly afterwards she attended a high performance squad camp where she was inspired by the para riders training for the Paralympics. She decided then and there that she wanted to be a Paralympian.
Victoria has gone on to win multiple state and national titles and is a six-time CPEDI (International) FEI Para Grade II Champion.
Alexander Tuckfield will make his international swimming debut at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics as the third fastest S9 freestyler in the world. At 16 he is one of the youngest members of the Australian Paralympic Team.
Cross country running was the focus for the Sutherland Shire local until 2015 when he turned to swimming as a form of rehab for a running injury. Showing promise immediately, he quickly rose through the ranks and onto the national Para Development Squad.
Competing at the 2020 Hancock Prospecting Australian Virtual Short Course Alexander set a world record in the S9 class when he placed second in the Men’s 200m Freestyle Multi Class event, touching the wall with a time of 2:01.41.
At the 2021 Australian Swimming Trials Alexander placed second in the S9 400m Freestyle, securing his ticket to Tokyo.
Andrew Edmondson OAM is a member of the Australian wheelchair rugby team, the Steelers and a two-time Paralympian.
At 13 Andrew was playing Rugby Union for Scots College when he broke his neck in a bodysurfing accident at Sydney’s Coogee Beach. While doing rehab Andrew was introduced to wheelchair rugby. He then went to an Australian Paralympic Committee Come and Try Day and that began his wheelchair rugby career.
At 15 Andrew was playing for NSW and went on to make his national team debut in 2014. Andrew was then selected onto the Steeler’s squad for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games where the team returned home with the gold medal after defeating the United States 59-58 in a tense final.
Following the Rio Games Andrew was awarded the Order of Australia Medal and in 2018 was a member of the Australian team that won silver at the IWRF World Championship in Sydney. Andrew and the Steelers recently secured gold at the 2019 Gangneung IWRF Asia-Oceania Championships, Korea.
Paralympic swimmer and world championship bronze medallist Ricky Betar will make his Paralympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, just a few weeks shy of his 18th Birthday.
Ricky began swimming at 10 years old and at 12 was already a member of the NSW junior shark squad. At 15 Ricky competed at the 2019 Australian Swimming Championships where he claimed five medals, including gold in the 100m Backstroke Multi-Class, and broke an INAS world record in the 50m Freestyle.
Selected onto the Australian Dolphins team for the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships, the NSWIS scholarship holder competed in five events, winning bronze in the 4x100m Freestyle Relay (S14) and setting an Oceania Record in the 100m Backstroke (S14).
The following year Ricky set a new world record in the 200 Individual Medley Multi Class S14 at the 2020 Hancock Prospecting Australian Virtual Short Course.
Wheelchair rugby player Ryley Batt OAM is a five-time Paralympian and captain of the Australian national team, the Steelers.
Considered one of the best players in the world, Ryley was drawn to the sport after Paralympian Tom Kennedy hosted a wheelchair rugby clinic at his primary school in Port Macquarie. From there he started training with a local team and was selected to the NSW wheelchair rugby team when he was 12 years old. Ryley was then selected to the Australian team and made his Paralympic debut in Athens in 2004 where, at 15, he become the youngest ever wheelchair rugby player to compete at the Paralympic Games.
At the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, Ryley and the Steelers won Silver. Four years later in London, they defeated Canada to win their first Paralympic gold medal. In 2014 they claimed their first world championship title.
After the Steelers defeated the USA to win gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympics Ryley made the history books again, becoming a member of the first wheelchair rugby team to win consecutive Paralympic gold medals and a world title in a four-year period. Ryley and the Steelers swill look to defend their Paralympic gold at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Para swimmer Tiffany Thomas Kane is a Paralympic gold medallist and a two-time world champion.
The Sydney native burst onto the scene in 2015, at 13 years of age, when she set a new world record in the 50m Breaststroke (SB6) at the 2015 Australian Swimming Championships. Her incredible swim earned her a place on the Australian team for that year’s IPC Swimming World Championships where she would make her international debut as the youngest Australian para swimmer to compete at the world championships.
The NSWIS scholarship holder, who started swimming at age three at the suggestion of her doctors, went on to represent Australia at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where she just missed out on a podium finish, placing fourth in both the 50m Freestyle (S8) and 50m Butterfly (S7).
Returning the the World Para Swimming Championship in 2019 in London, Tiffany claimed her second world champion title winning the 100m Breaststroke (SB7).
Paralympian Nic Beveridge is a member of the Triathlon Australia team and a Commonwealth Games silver medallist.
Nic first competed on the international circuit at the 2013 ITU World Championships in London where he finished 17th in the Men’s PT1 event. He went on to represent Australia at the 2016 Rotterdam ITU Paratriathlon World Championships where he placed 11th.
Triathlon made its Paralympic debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and so did Nic, achieving a top ten finish in the PT1 event.
Competing at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Nic won a silver medal in the PTWC event.
Interviews with Olympian/Paralympian staff & coaches
What it takes to be a Paralympian
Inside the athlete village
NSWIS diving coaches
The Opening Ceremony
What it takes to be an Olympian