BELCONNEN, Australia, January 26. SWIMMING Australia President John Bertrand AM has this morning congratulated Paralympian Jacqueline Freney on being named the Young Australian of the Year for 2014.
The 21-year-old from Skennars Head in Northern NSW won eight gold medals from eight events at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, including anchoring Australia to a remarkable win in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay.
“To be named Young Australian of the Year is a life changing achievement and on behalf of the entire swimming community I would like to congratulate Jacqui and her family on this fantastic honour,” said Bertrand.
“Winning eight gold medals from eight events in London was truly world’s best, what we are all striving for, and Jacqui’s dedication, hard work and commitment to success is well known in our sport. What isn’t as well known is her work outside the pool as a motivational speaker to raise awareness and promote the value of sport for people living with a disability.”
“This is a real honour for a proud young Australian, a proud member of the Australian Swim Team and someone who proudly represents the Green and Gold.”
Swimming Australia CEO Mark Anderson said Jacqui’s commitment to success in and out of the pool is an inspiration to all.
“Our Paralympic swimmers have shown some outstanding success in recent years, with a dominant display in London (37 medals including 18 gold) and winning a further 27 medals at the IPC World Championships in Montreal last year,” said Anderson.
“At just 21, Jacqui represents our sport with pride and passion. She is an inspiration to all in and out of the pool, and will be a key member of our team on the road to Rio 2016.”
The Paralympian of the Year in 2012, and Swimming Australia’s Multi Class swimmer of the Year, Jacqui is coached by her father Michael and mentored by Grandfather Peter in what has proved to be winning combination for the Freney family.
Swimming Australia would also like to congratulate fellow Paralympic gold medallists from London Ellie Cole, Brenden Hall, Blake Cochrane, Michael Anderson, Kat Downie, Prue Watt, Annabelle Williams, Matthew Levy and Andrew Pasterfield who were all recognised for their achievements, as well as members of the gold medal winning 4x100m freestyle relay team at the London Olympics, Alicia Coutts, Cate Campbell, Brittany Elmslie, and Yolane Kukla on being awarded the Order of Australia medal for services to sport.
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