Para Legends With Berets And Baguettes Headline 30-strong Australian Swim Team For Paris Paralympic Games

AUSTRALIAN PARA SWIM TEAM: From Brisbane to Paris with berets snd baguettes. Photo Courtesy Wade Brennan (Wade's Photos).

Para Legends With Berets And Baguettes Headline 30-strong Australian Swim Team For Paris Paralympic Games

Australia will send a 30 strong team of  swimmers to this year’s Paralympic Games in Paris with a blend of some of the most exciting, experienced and successful swimmers to ever feature on an Australian Paralympic Team.

The team was announced after the first five days of the Australian Trials in Brisbane and presented with Qantas Board Passes, gold berets and traditional French baguettes.

The squad is spearheaded by two long-serving favourites, three-time gold medallist Brenden Hall (QLD), who will equal an Australian Para-swimming record fifth Games appearance, Ahmed Kelly (VIC), who earned selection for his fourth Paralympic team.

And Kelly’s great friend Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson who is off to his third Games and is the most senior member of the team at 35.

The Paralympic silver medallist will now prepare to compete at his third Paralympics, having started his Paralympic journey at London in 2012, missing Rio, who returned for Tokyo and now for Paris.

Twenty members of the successful Tokyo team will return for Paris, one Jenna Jones (QLD) returning from Rio and nine rookies – including world record holding freestyler Alexa Leary (QLD) who will make her debut in Paris.

While seven-time medallist Lakeisha Patterson and Rachael Watson (the most senior female at 32) will each pursue a third consecutive Paralympic gold medal in their respective pet-events.

They will be joined by  reigning 50 metres freestyle gold medallist, and 50 and 100 metres freestyle world champion Rowan Crothers and his coach Kate Sparkes – named on both the Marathon and Paralympic teams

BRENDEN’s HALL OF FAME: Five-time Paralympian Brenden Hall  and fellow team members celebrating their Paris selection with beret and baguettes. Photo Courtesy Wade Brennan (Wade’s Photos)

The two youngest on the team are the Gold Coast’s Holly Warn (St Hilda’s) who is 15 and Sunshine Coast’s Callum Simpson (Flinders Aquatic, Academy, QLD) who is 17.

Warn follows her grandfather Michael Morgan into sport’s hold grail – Morgan a two-time Olympic rower – who won silver in the Australian Men’s Eight in Mexico City in 1968, making the team again in Munich in 1972; taking over as Australian 8s coach for the 1976 team in Montreal.

Along with world record breaking NSW all-rounder Timothy Hodge they will all attend their third Games – Hodge one of the real stars of the Australian Trials on the Gold Coast this week – setting another WR in the 200IM, who will swim five events at the Games.

There are 23 Queenslanders on the team three from NSW, two from the ACT and one each from VIC and WA.

Paris campaign head coach Greg Towle said it had been a fantastic week of racing at the Trials in Brisbane.

“We have witnessed many brilliant swims this week, headlined by Tim Hodge’s world record in the 200m individual medley,” Towle said.

“The team is made up of youth and experience with Brenden Hall going into his fifth Paralympics Ahmed Kelly his fourth Paralympics. I’m particularly excited to see our rookies stepping up on to the international stage, led by newcomers Alexa Leary and Callum Simpson who bring a new energy and excitement to the group.

“I am proud of all the athletes and coaches selected for this team and I look forward to the opportunities that lay ahead. I’m confident this united group will combine to achieve their best and perform on the world stage in two months’ time.”

AUS PARA TEAM Scooter Patterson PHOTO COURTESY Wade Brennan (Wade’s Photos)

The swimming team for Paris was introduced by Australian Paralympic Team Chef de Mission Kate McLoughlin at the completion of the Australian Swimming Trials for Para-athletes in Brisbane on Friday night.

“Australia has had huge success in Paralympic swimming, from the first Games in 1960 in Rome, where the late Daphne Hilton won the country’s very first gold medal in the sport,” McLoughlin said.

“Australian swimmers have won 453 medals, including 136 gold, 160 silver and 157 bronze. We sit fifth on the all-time gold medal tally and third in total medals behind only Great Britain and the US.

“In Tokyo, our swimmers brought home 33 medals, including eight gold, setting the tone for the wider Australian Paralympic Team. When our swimming team does well, Australia does well.

“We’ll have another strong team of swimmers representing us in Paris and I know they’ll be prepared and determined to give their absolute best as they go after their goals.”

The swimming team will be in camp in Chartres, about 90 kilometres south-west of Paris, for their staging camp from August 12 before the Paralympic Games begins on August 28.

Australian Paralympic Swimming Team for Paris 2024:
Jesse Aungles, Emily Beecroft, Ricky Betar, Lewis Bishop, Rowan Crothers,  Katja Dedekind, Tom Gallagher, Jasmine Greenwood, Brenden Hall, Benjamin Hance, Timothy Hodge, Jack Ireland, Ella Jones, Jenna Jones, Ahmed Kelly, Alexa Leary, Paige Leonhardt, Maddie McTernan, Jake Michel, Chloe Osborn, Grant Patterson, Lakeisha Patterson, Col Pearse, Alex Saffy, Callum Simpson, Keira Stephens, Ruby Storm, Holly Warn, Rachael Watson, Poppy Wilson.



First Name Last Name Age Club
Jesse Aungles 29 Cruiz (ACT)
Emily Beecroft 24 USC Spartans (QLD)
Ricky Betar 20 USC Spartans (QLD)
Lewis Bishop 19 Rackley (QLD)
Rowan Crothers 26 Yeronga Park (QLD)
Katja Dedekind 22 Yeronga Park (QLD)
Tom Gallagher 25 Somerset (QLD)
Jasmine Greenwood 19 Cruiz (ACT)
Brenden Hall 31 USC Spartans (QLD)
Benjamin Hance 23 St Andrew’s (QLD)
Timothy Hodge 23 ACU Blacktown (NSW)
Jack Ireland       24 University of QLD (QLD)
Ella Jones       23 Kincumber Pacific Dolphins (NSW)
Jenna Jones       23 USC Spartans (QLD)
Ahmed Kelly       32 Melbourne Vicentre (VIC)
Alexa Leary       22 St Hilda’s (QLD)
Paige Leonhardt       23 Shark Aquatic (QLD)
Maddie McTernan 23 Shark Aquatic (QLD)
Jake Michel 25 Carina Leagues (QLD)
Chloe Osborn 20 ACU Blacktown (NSW)
Grant Patterson 35 Central Cairns (QLD)
Lakeisha Patterson 25 USC Spartans (QLD)
Col Pearse 20 Nunawading (VIC)
Alex Saffy 18 Bunbury (WA)
Callum Simpson 17 Flinders Aquatic Academy (QLD)
Keira Stephens 21 Southport (QLD)
Ruby Storm 20 St Andrew’s (QLD)
Holly Warn 15 St Hilda’s (QLD)
Rachael Watson 32 Chandler (QLD)
Poppy Wilson 20 Yeronga Park (QLD)

PARA SWIM TEAM 2 Photos Courtesy Wade Brennan (Wade’s Photos)




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12 days ago

Congratulations to the whole para team particularly Madeleine McTernan and Paige Leonhardt from Sharks Aquatics on the GC. Congratulations too to their super coach Ken Malcolm. So, so proud of all of you.

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