Katie felt incredibly honoured to be inducted, given the alumni of Griffith University boast 55 Olympians, 10 Paralympian and 60 Commonwealth Games athletes.
Event MC Duncan Free OAM asked Katie to recall a moment from that Gold medal day at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
Katie shared the moment when she was at the start line, surrounded by 9 other of the world’s best female athletes who were blind or had low vision, and the enormous sense of camaraderie and privilege to be among these women.
Katie detailed that they were to be the first ever female triathlon race held at the Paralympics for athletes with Vision Impairment. Additionally, highlighting a strength when you have your peer beside you, and the knowing that you are all collectively changing the narrative that they couldn't or wouldn’t achieve our own exceptional and aspirational heights.
Katie passed a special thanks to the leadership of people like Triathlon Australia CEO at the time, Anne Gripper and World Triathlon Triathlon President Marisol Casado, who lobbied for Para-triathlon to be part of the Paralympics.
Katie praised these women who played their part in challenging ableist mindsets to say that disability isn’t the problem, it’s all of us, in our communities to enable pathways for everyone’s participation, and in this instance it was about enabling access to a high performance pathway for triathletes with disability.
Katie also went on to Thank Naomi McCarthy OAM, Duncan Free OAM and all at the Griffith University Sports College for their genuine care and commitment of athletes during their academic studies.
Lastly, she congratulated all of the athletes and especially the Overall Sport Achievement and Academic Athlete of the year Cassiel Rousseau (Diving) and Jessica Fox (Canoe) respectively. Furthermore, to her fellow Hall of Fame inductees Shannon Parry OAM OLY and Michael Shelley, stating it was an honour to be named along them both.
On behalf of the Sport Access Foundation community, congratulations on your achievements and for the work you have done in improving access to sport for young Australians with disability.
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