Australian World Dwarf Games team captain and Association Game Changer Ambassador Kobie Donovan has taken out the top honour at the 37th Queensland para-sport awards hosted by Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association in Brisbane (Friday 23 February 2018).
Kobie, 23, who competed in athletics, soccer and badminton was honoured with the Sporting Wheelie of the Year award for her dedication to sport, strong leadership and achievements at the 2017 World Dwarf Games, and her contribution as a role model and an ambassador for the Association and sport for people with a disability.
A true all-round athlete, Kobie led by example claiming individual gold medals in the women’s javelin and 100m sprint, and silver in the women’s soccer, badminton singles and 4x100m relay, and bronze in the badminton doubles at the Games.
Para-snowboarder Simon Patmore claimed the award for Open Male Athlete of the Year for his outstanding international performances on the slopes across 11 international events. He edged out an impressive field of finalists including world champion water skier Scott Wintle and Australian wheelchair basketballer Tom O’Neill-Thorne. Simon has his sights set on winning gold at the upcoming 2018 Winter Paralympic Games to be held in PyeongChang, South Korea in March.
The Open Female Athlete of the Year is swimmer Lakeisha Patterson, who was again one of Australia’s most successful international para-swimmers, breaking multiple world records, claiming five gold medals and one silver at the 2017 World Series event in Indianapolis and being awarded the top junior female swimmer of the series.
Regional athletes Nathan Donaldson (Bundaberg) and Laura Mladenovic (Townsville) picked up the Junior Male and Female Athlete of the Year awards. The Team of the Year is the national champion Queensland Men’s Goalball Team and the Coach of the Year is para-powerlifting coach Bill Nancarrow.
Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association is the peak body for sport, fitness and recreation for people with a physical disability or vision impairment in Queensland. The Association celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017.
The full list of 2017 Annual Award winners:
Sporting Wheelie of the Year – Kobie Donovan
Open Male Athlete of the Year – Simon Patmore
Open Female Athlete of the Year – Lakeisha Patterson
Junior Male Athlete of the Year – Nathan Donaldson
Junior Female Athlete of the Year – Laura Mladenovic
Most Improved Athlete of the Year – Marcus Lentini
Team of the Year – Queensland Men’s Goalball Team
Coach of the Year – Bill Nancarrow
Official of the Year – Christine Reimann
Col and Peter Marsh Volunteer of the Year – Donna Sumpter
Allclear Print and Signs Fitness Award – Reigne Dadey and Mitch McCracken
Paul Bodington Media Award – Victoria Carthew