2018 Marie T Little OAM Champions Scholarship Announced

As a young girl growing up in regional Victoria with 5 sisters and a brother, Caytlyn Sharp didn’t get a lot of choice, on which sport she was doing on the weekend. The family did Little Athletics and in those early years, Caytlyn is the first to admit she hated it and wasn’t backward in letting people know.

You see Caytlyn also has autism, and it was the sensory side of autism that dominated Caytlyn’s early years, the smell of fresh cut grass, crowds yelling and cheering, clapping and the fright of the starters gun.  Most athletes thrive on the cheering and clapping, but for a young girl with autism these can be extremely hard to handle.

Even today the 2017 INAS High Jump World Champion is challenged by excessive cheering and clapping.

“Its hard for Caytlyn to get away from the cheering and clapping as these are integral to sport and Caytlyn’s events in particular.” Said Caytlyn’s mum Cindy McDougall.

“We work on this at training and make every effort to familiarise ourselves with the venues prior to competition when Caytlyn travels” McDougall said.

Caytlyn Sharp in action at the 2018 Australian Junior Track and Field Championships

Little athletics has actually proven to be the ideal sport for Caytlyn, she soon came to love the sport and with the focus on personal bests, she soon learnt to shut out other distractions.

In a short time frame, Caytlyn started to establish herself as an athlete, she found success at local and regional level and qualified for State Championships, but it was at state level, that she first realised that she couldn’t compete against the best able bodied athletes, coming last in most events.

There was no Para multi class events in these early years so Caytlyn competed solely against able bodied athletes. In her last competitive Little athletics year (2017/18) LAVIC has Introduced Para events at regional and state level creating a pathway for our para stars of tomorrow. Caytlyn felt privileged to be a competitor at both of these levels

In 2015 Caytlyn competed at the School Sports Victoria (SSV) State Championships and also the Australian All School Championships in multi class Para events. Caytlyn was soon to learn another very difficult lesson – “Finishing first across the line didn’t guarantee a first placing”.

In Multi class events every athletes performance is calculated as a % in their particular class, and it is the highest % that wins, something many athletes struggle to comprehend, but even more so when you have intellectual disability and have just broken an Australian record, and then you don’t even win a medal.

After competing at the SSV State Swimming Championships the All Schools National Cross Country and Athletics Australia National Track and Field Championships that same year, Caytlyn soon began to feel at home in the Para world, training with and competing against other Para athletes some of whom were Paralympians, people started to assume that she too was destined for the Paralympics.

“I knew the Paralympic pathway was very limited and didn’t include my events, which was frustrating as other athletes had choices.  If that’s all that the Paralympics is offering then I don’t want to do it” Caytlyn said.

The 2015 Australian All Schools became a turning point in Caytlyn’s athletics career, as it was her performances here that brought her to the attention of selectors. Shortly after the Championships Caytlyn received a letter stating she had qualified for the 2017 INAS Athletics World Championships.

Caytlyn couldn’t believe she might be selected in an Australian team and further that she could do her favourite events, and that she, like other Para athletes had choices.   “Does this mean that I can represent Australia and I can do any event I want, is this really a thing?“ Caytlyn asked.

At the age of 14  Caytlyn Sharp represented Australia at the INAS Athletics World Championships in Bangkok. It was a lot to take in for the young athlete, representing her country, travelling overseas, away from family and friends and the fear of the unknown,  but with her coach Anula Costa and many  athletes she knew and trained with also in the team, Caytlyn was up for the challenge, a challenge mum wasn’t going to let her miss.

Caytlyn Sharp at the Medal Ceremony 2017 INAS Athletics World Championships

Caytlyn won her first medal, a bronze, in her very first event the triple jump, two days later she won the women’s high jump and followed up with a Bronze medal in the women’s 4 x 100m relay.  Not a bad effort for a 14 year old from Regional Victoria on her first trip overseas.

Returning home Caytlyn was surprised by the attention, interviews with local papers, speaking at school and local organisations such as Lions and even a radio interview after winning an award.  She really didn’t like having to try to stand and talk in-front of people, who would ask her questions, and would expect her to answer them and remember everything.

Caytlyn had also been bullied at school prior to the Championships and after returning found that this just made some people more jealous and that some people didn’t believe her when she said she was a World Champion.

On the positive side, a lot of younger kids look up to her in awe “You are amazing” and even asked her for autographs.  Younger sister Lynley also enjoyed Caytlyn’s success and was keen to tell everyone, including strangers on the street, “that my sister represented Australia and is a world champion.”

Now too old for Little A’s, Caytlyn competes for Eureka Athletics club in Ballarat. “They really support multi class and don’t treat me differently, but still recognise multi class athletes.” Caytlyn said.

Caytlyn also mentors children at the local Terang athletics Club and Warrnambool Little athletics Centre.

Caytlyn doesn’t want to be labelled as an athlete with Autism or disability, but just wants officials to acknowledge her during competition and be able to communicate with her.  At times Caytlyn can  struggle with the communication, particularly when things don’t go right, shedoesn’t always know what to say or who to talk to.

“I watch other athletes interact with officials during competition and I wish I could too and that they could see that I may not understand.” Caytlyn said

It has been more than 12 months since she made her first trip overseas and she now has her eyes set on the 2019 INAS Global Games in Brisbane where she hopes to compete in the High jump, Triple jump, long jump and the 200m.

A member of the South West Academy of Sport, Caytlyn is now coached by former New Zealand athlete Jeremy Dixon.

The road to the Global Games in Brisbane will be a long one with and her siblings clocking up more than 700kms a week in travel to training and competition, but it’s a trip that there while family are willing to take, to help Caytlyn achieve her dreams.

Annual General Meeting & National Inclusion Forum

Sport Inclusion Australia conducted its 33rd Annual General Meeting and a National Inclusion Forum last week.  Held at Cricket Australia headquarters in Melbourne the AGM and Forum were well attended by State and National sporting organisations along with other key stakeholders and partners.

In his President’s report, Wayne Bird acknowledged all involved with Sport Inclusion Australia in the past year and particularly thanked the Sport Inclusion Board Directors for their vision and foresight.

CEO Robyn Smith was again thankful for the input of all partners and stakeholders to the ideology of inclusion in sport based on ability and choice.

Finance Director Rob Peak thanked Mogg Osborne and Co for their loyalty and amazing service over many years and Kellie Keen for her work with the finances.

President Wayne Bird and Board member Aaron Morse (WA) were both re-elected for a further 3 year term.

Patron Steve Moneghetti OAM was in attendance and took the time to meet with representatives and even have a few photographs with attendees.

The National Inclusion Forum followed the AGM with a welcome address from Cricket Australia’s Belinda Clark.  Clark welcomed all to the Cricket Australia offices and outlined Cricket Australia’s vision of cricket being a “Sport for All” and their ambition to make cricket the number 1 participation sport in Australia.

Victoria’s Caytlyn Sharp was provided an athletes perspective discussing her athletics achievements and challenges to be the best she can be in her events.  Following her talk Sharp was surprised by the presentation of the Marie T Little OAM Champions Scholarship by President Wayne Bird.  The scholarship given in the name of Ausrapid founder Marie T Little OAM is to assist athletes and or officials in their development.

The forum provided an opportunity to hear from guests speakers on a range of topics, a chance to network with other sports and organisations within the disability sector and workshop key topics.

Forum presentations were made by:

  • Greg Dunk, 2019 Global Games General Manager  – 2019 Global Games Update
  • Robyn Smith, CEO Sport Inclusion Australia – Sport Eligibility for Athletes with an intellectual impairment.
  • Shawn Stevenson, Project Officer, Dept of Health and Community Services – Engaging the Disability Sector
  • Richard Redman, Manager, Sport Australia – Child and Vulnerable people safety in Sport
  • Robyn Smith, CEO Sport Inclusion Australia – Inclusive Participation numbers
  • Aaron Dragwidge, Manager Participation, Cricket Australia – Collection of Participation data for people with a disability

Forum documentation is available at : https://sportinclusionaustralia.sharepoint.com/:f:/g/EswjpdBVfkBFods930DJVi0BqZhBjHHQvecerNW7dS8oBQ?e=QvTPYi

For more information contact Sport Inclusion Australia on 03 5762 7494

Victorians to represent Australia at INAS World Championships in Portugal

Sport Inclusion Australia announced today the team to represent Australia at the 2018 INAS World Half Marathon Championships in Coimbra, Portugal.  The team of 6 athletes and a coach all hail from Victoria and will be Australia’s first representatives at the Championships.

Harry Mezger, Carlo Manolitsas, Montgomery Cooper, Georgia Powning, Chloe Turner and Montana Whiteley are coached by Liz Gosper in Melbourne and will take on the gruelling 21.1km event wearing the Australian uniform for the first time.

The championship for athletes with an intellectual impairment is being run in conjunction with an annual mass participation event that is expected to see a field of over 7,000 competitors running through the historic city of Coimbra.  A large number of athletes from 8 countries (Australia, Brazil, Italy, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the USA) are expected to  compete in the INAS World Championship events.  Australia has sent Athletics teams to all INAS Athletics World Championships but has not competed in the winter cross country and road running events.  The 2018 INAS Half Marathon Championships will be run on Sunday 21 October.

“It is very exciting to see these athletes selected to represent Australia in this World Championship.” said Sport Inclusion Australia CEO Robyn Smith.

Athletes will not only be competing for individual honours, but with 3 male and 3 female athletes they will also be competing in the team competition as well.

All athletes compete for the Old Xavier’s Athletics Club in Cross country and track events in Australia as well as some cross training in triathlon and swimming events.  At the recent Australian Cross Country Championships on the Sunshine Coast Mezger (19) and Powning (19) finished second in their respective events.

A fitness teacher at Ashwood School and founder of Inclusive Sports Training, Gosper has been working with athletes with an intellectual impairment for a number of years, through her training group she has introduced athletes to a range of sports and competition pathways.  Gosper has been appointed as Head Coach for the team.  “Since we identified the opportunity to compete in this event and represent Australia all of the athletes have been focussed on just one thing, their commitment to training, competition and preparation has been outstanding” Gosper said.

Mezger is a current member of the Athletics Victoria talent id program as a middle distance runner.  During the off season he runs cross country and competes regularly in triathlon and swimming events.  Mezger also medalled on the track at the Australian junior Championships earlier this year in Sydney.   When the opportunity came up to represent Australia Mezger grabbed it with both hands and has been focussed on the half marathon event ever since.   “I love running and I have loved every training session, even the long dark wet runs through winter. We just called them adventure runs which gave us a great attitude to just keep pushing rain, hail , puddles whatever was thrown at us.” Mezger said.

Powning also a medallist at the Australian Junior Track and field Championships and Australian under 20 5000m record holder has stepped up her training in preparation for the Championships, “I have been training six days a week, running and cross training with my coach and my friends. I have learnt to eat the right kind of food and cannot wait to represent Australia for the first time.” Powning said.

Turner started her sporting career as a Basketballer representing Victoria and was enticed into running when she heard of the opportunity to run long distance for Australia. “I have completed a half marathon before and could not wait to get into the team for this International event. I am sure I will smash my previous time as I have trained so hard with the team.” Turner said

For Montana Whiteley and Montgomery Cooper it will be a family affair as Montana’s father and Montgomery’s mother are also travelling and will be taking part in the Open Half Marathon event run by Global Sport.

The athletes preparation under Gosper’s guidance has not only seen them complete a gruelling training program that includes cross training in swimming and duathlon but they have also undergone physiological testing and strength training to ensure that each athlete is in the best physical condition for the event. That visited a 3D running lab at the start of training to check their shoes and gait. This was very beneficial and the athletes are confident they are in the correct shoes.

While this will be the first half marathon for each athlete (other than Turner), they will go into the event full of confidence having committed to a lengthy training program that has left no stone unturned.

Australian Team

  • Harry Mezger (19)  South Yarra
  • Montgomery Cooper (18)  Beaumaris
  • Carlo Manolitsas (19) Malvern East
  • Georgia Powning (19) Kew
  • Chloe Turner (24) Albert Park
  • Montana Whiteley (19) Glen Iris

    Coach: Liz Gosper

    The team departs on the 14th of October and competes on Sunday 21 October.

    Robyn Smith, CEO Sport Inclusion Australia.  0418 979 459, robyn.smith@sportinclusionaustralia.org.au
    Liz Gosper, Head Coach, 0418 505 783, lizgos@hotmail.com
    Athletes – on request.

Smith and Corry Fly Australian Flag in Hong Kong During INAS Asia Celebrations

Australia’s Robyn Smith and Taylor Corry represented Australia at the INAS Asia Annual General Meeting and 40thAnniversary Celebrations in Hong Kong during the week.

Smith the CEO of Sport Inclusion Australia and the Global Games Sports Company was invited to Hong Kong to address the INAS Asia member organisations on the progress of the 2019 INAS Global Games, INAS Oceania and INAS Asia relationships and attend the eligibility workshop.

Global Games Sports Company CEO Robyn smith presents the 2019 INAS Global Games Brisbane Prospetus in Macau.

Sport Inclusion Australia has been working to develop opportunities within Oceania and Asia for athletes with an intellectual impairment for several years. The upcoming 2019 INAS Global Games in Brisbane has provided a platform to continue this work.

“We had a major breakthrough in China last year and this week we were able to spend time with National Paralympic representatives from Sri Lanka to assist them with their eligibility requirements. We are very hopeful that we will see athletes from China and Sri Lanka competing for the first time in INAS events at the INAS Global Games in Brisbane in 2019” Smith said.

Smith was in demand as representatives from Macua also took advantage of her presence in Asia to invite her to address Government representatives on the importance of the 2019 INAS Global Games.

“It has been a very exciting few days, seeing the genuine excitement about the 2019 INAS Global Games and the willingness of each member organisation to develop teams and provide opportunities for athletes” Smith said.

Taylor Corry helps promote the 2019 INAS Global Games with Para swimmers from Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea at the INAS Asia 40thAnniversary Celebrations in Hong Kong.

The most outstanding female swimmer at the 2011 INAS Global Games where she won 8 gold medals and one silver, Corry was invited to Hong Kong to compete in several swimming events as part of the INAS Asia 40 Anniversary celebrations.  One of several international athletes invited to compete in events which featured able bodied and celebrity swimmers, Corry swam in the 100m backstroke, 100m freestyle, and 2 relay events

“It was a great honour to be invited and to represent Australia in these events celebrating diversity and inclusion” Corry said. Corry along with her coach Simon Watkins were the only Australians invited to the swimming events.


For more information contact:

Ms Robyn Smith  – 0418 979 459 robyn.smith@sportinclusionaustralia.org.au




Tennis Australia announce team to contest 2018 INAS Tennis World Championships

Tennis Australia have today announced the players to represent Australia at the 2018 INAS Tennis World Championships. To be held in Paris in July the INAS World Championships will bring together the best tennis players from around the World with an intellectual impairment.

The Australian team includes current INAS World Champions Archie Graham (Mens Singles), Kelly Wren and Carla Lenarduzzi (Women’s Doubles) and Wren and Damian Phillips (Mixed Doubles).

Queensland’s Graham, will be vying for his 4thconsecutive World Singles title having won in Ecuador (2015), USA (2016), and the UK (2017). While NSW’s Kelly Wren will be looking for singles title number 7.  Wren won 6 consecutive titles before losing the last two titles to Belgium’s Hanna Lavreysen.

Between them Wren and Graham have amassed 25 INAS World Championship titles across the Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles events as well as numerous Teams titles. Wren on her own having a personal tally of 19 titles.

Graham will turn 25 during the Championships with the possibility of celebrating another World title on his birthday.

The 2018 Australian team will include all members of the winning team from the 2017 INAS World Championships in Bolton, UK.  Australia have dominated the INAS Tennis World Championships for many years. With the exception of Queensland’s Joshua Holloway all team members have experienced winning a World Championships. Holloway has 2 silver medals and a bronze to his name, and as the current Australian Doubles Champion (with partner Mitchell James) will be hoping to capture that elusive Gold in Paris.

The Championship will be held from the 14th to the 22nd of July, with the team departing on the 13thof July following a 2 day training camp in Brisbane.


The full team is as follows:

Archie Graham (QLD – Newtown
Mitchell James (QLD – Burpengary)
Joshua Holloway (QLD – Rockhampton)
Damian Phillips (NSW – Coffs Harbour)

Kelly Wren (NSW – Engadine)
Carla Lenarduzzi (VIC – Camberwell)

Head Coach – Alison Scott (Brisbane)
Manager – Jay Schuback (Melbourne)

Robyn Smith (CEO, Sport Inclusion Australia) 0418 979 459
Jay Schuback (Team Manager, Tennis Australia) 0466 351 434
Alison Scott (Head Coach) 0405 558 172
Player contact details on request.



Archie Graham (24 – Ipswich QLD)
INAS World Ranking: 1 – singles, 2 – doubles, 3 – mixed doubles
Inas World Championships

  • Mens Singles: 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Mens Doubles: 2015 (Mitchell James), 2016 (Damian Phillips), 2017 (2ndPhillips),
  • Mixed Doubles: 2015 (Carla Lenarduzzi), 2016 (3rdLenarduzzi), 2017 (3rdLenarduzzi)

Australian Tennis Championships Mens Singles : 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018
Other Awards: 2017 Tennis Australia, Most outstanding Player with a Disability


Kelly Wren (40 – Engadine NSW)
INAS World Ranking:  2 – singles, 1 – doubles, 1 – mixed doubles
Inas World Championships

  • Womens Singles: 2001, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016 (2nd), 2017 (2nd)
  • Womens Doubles: 2001, 2004, 2008 (2nd), 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016 (2nd), 2017
  • Mixed Doubles: 2001, 2009, 2011, 2015 (2nd), 2016, 2017

Australian Tennis Championships Womens Singles: 1998 – 2018, Doubles: 2000 – 2017, 2018 (2nd)
Other Awards:   2011 Tennis Australia Most outstanding Athlete with a disability, Finalist in 2010 and 2013.  2011 Sport NSW Most outstanding athlete with a disability


Mitchell James (24 – Burpengary QLD)
INAS World Ranking:  5 – singles, 3 – doubles,
Inas World Championships

  • Mens Singles: 2015 (5th), 2016 (3rd), 2017 (5th)
  • Mens Doubles: 2013 (2ndHolloway), 2015 (Graham), 2016 (2ndHolloway), 2017 (3rdHolloway)

Australian Tennis Championships Mens Singles : 2013-2016 (2nd), Doubles:2013, 2014, 2018 (Holloway), 2012 & 2016 (2ndHolloway) 2017 (3rdHolloway)


Carla Lenarduzzi (34 – Melbourne VIC)
INAS World Ranking:  5  – singles, 1 – doubles, 3 – mixed doubles
Inas World Championships

  • Womens Singles: 2008 (2nd)
  • Womens Doubles: 2015, 2016, 2017 (Wren), 2004 (2ndWilson), 2008 (2ndWren)
  • Mixed Doubles: 2015 (Graham), 2016 (3rd
    Graham), 2017 (2ndGraham)

Australian Tennis Championships Womens Singles : 2006 (2nd), 2015 (2nd), 2016(2nd), 2017(2nd), 2018(2nd), Doubles: 2018 (Wilson), 2nd2007, 2015, 2016, 2017


Damian Phillips (29 – Coffs Harbour NSW)
INAS World Ranking:  8 – singles, 2 – doubles, 1 – mixed doubles
Inas World Championships

  • Mens Doubles: 2011 (3rdRudoy), 2016 (Graham), 2017 (2ndGraham)
  • Mixed Doubles: 2016 (Wren), 2017 (Wren)

Australian Tennis Championships Mens Doubles: 2011 (Rudoy), 2013 (2ndRudoy),  2014 (2ndGraham), 2015 & 2016 (Graham), 2017 (2ndGraham), 2018 (2ndGraham).


Joshua Holloway (21 – Rockhampton QLD)
INAS World Ranking: 9 – singles, 3 – doubles
Inas World Championships

  • Mens Doubles: 2013 (2ndJames), 2016 (2ndJames), 2017 (3rdJames)

Australian Tennis Championships Mens Singles : 2013 (2nd), Doubles: 2013, 2014, 2018 (James), 2012 and 2016 (2ndJames), 2017 (3rdJames)

Australia’s Jade Lucy and Caytlyn Sharp inspire next generation of female athletes

Athletes Jade Lucy (NSW) and Caytlyn Sharp (VIC) have been chosen to take part in an exciting new project – #WeAreSport – that will help inspire the next generation of female athletes with an intellectual impairment in Australia.

#WeAreSport is being run by the International Federation for Athletes with intellectual impairments (INAS), a member of the International Paralympic Committee. It aims to help female athletes to use social and other media to promote their lives as high performance sportspeople.

INAS is the world’s leading organisation for developing sport for athletes with intellectual impairments. It has received a grant from the Agitos Foundation, the development arm of IPC, to help create more female role models. As a member of INAS, Sport Inclusion Australia was keen to get involved.

Sharp and Lucy were chosen for #WeAreSport as leading athletes in their sports of Swimming and Athletics.

Jade Lucy shows off one of her 5 Gold medals won at the 2017 INAS Swimming World Championships in Mexico

Lucy recently returned from the INAS Swimming World Championships in Mexico having dominated freestyle events winning all but one.

Sharp is our latest Athletics World Champion having won the Women’s High Jump at the INAS Athletics World Championships in Bangkok in May at just 15 years of age.

Caytlyn Sharp draped in an Australian Flag during the medal ceremony for the women’s High Jump at the 2017 INAS Athletics World Championships in Bangkok (May 2017)

As part of the project, Sport Inclusion Australia also had to nominate two administrators.   They chose Chantel Lewis (QLD) and Anula Costa (VIC), who will receive training and support to work with partners organisations to build pathways for women and girls with an intellectual impairment.

Robyn Smith, INAS Vice President, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Jade Lucy, Caytlyn Sharp, Chantel Lewis and Anula Costa to #WeAreSport. It is so important that we give both athletes and administrators the tools to develop themselves and sport for women and girls in Australia.”

“The project aims to start to address the gender imbalance that exists across the world, both at the INAS and Paralympic level. In turn that will increase the depth of field at competitions and make our sports more competitive all-round.

“We know that it can be a challenge for countries to find ways of including athletes with an intellectual impairment and for athletes to promote themselves. But these are obstacles worth overcoming and ones that we are firmly aiming to address.”

The first activities for #WeAreSport will take place in June 2018 including a training webinar for the athletes and administrators. Each athlete will also receive a specially designed media pack containing their biography, pictures and graphics they can share on social media.

The administrators will be given materials and guidance to help them attract female athletes to try sports. As part of their commitment they will deliver at least one development workshop in their country for women and girls.

Activities will climax on the 2018 International Day of Sport for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments on 20 September.

#WeAreSport is co-funded by Sport Inclusion Australia, the INAS member in Australia.



Sport Inclusion Australia is a member of INAS and the Australian Paralympic Committee working with sports at a National level to provide opportunities for people with an intellectual impairment and promoting inclusion.

For more information on Sport Inclusion Australia contact Robyn Smith (Chief Executive Officer) on 0418 979 459 or email robyn.smith@sportinclusionaustralia.org.au.

INAS is the International Federation for athletes with intellectual impairments, managing elite competition for 14 sports and promoting inclusion worldwide.

As well as the sports on the Paralympic programme – athletics, swimming and table tennis, – INAS provides competitions and supports eligibility and classification for basketball, cricket, cycling, football/futsal, equestrian, para hockey, rowing, alpine and Nordic skiing, taekwondo and tennis.

For more information about INAS contact Lucy Dominy, Marketing and Communications Manager, at lucy.dominy@inas.org

2018 Australian Tennis Championships

Records, Comebacks and Mixed results – The 21st Australian Tennis Championships

An exciting week of tennis at the 21st Australian Tennis Championships in Melbourne had it all, record breaking performances, amazing comebacks and an exciting new event, the mixed doubles.

New South Wales’ Kelly Wren has dominated women’s tennis for more than 20 years, and no event more than the Australian Tennis Championships. Kelly won the first event in 1998 and on Saturday at Melbourne Park she defeated Victoria’s Carla Lenarduzzi 6-3, 6-0 to take out her 21st title. Amazingly Wren has not lost a set in those 21 years, her biggest challenge came in 2004 when Queensland’s Kathryn Wilson took her to 5-7 in the first set.

While Kelly and Carla were battling it out for the women’s singles, on an adjacent court World Number 1 Archie Graham from Queensland and current Australian Champion Sam Von Einem (South Australia) were slugging it out for the men’s title.

In their first match-up since last year’s Championship decider, Von Einem dominated the first set winning 6-0 and it looked like he was set to repeat his victory over Graham and win his second National title.  Down 0-2 in the second set Graham had other thoughts and amazingly broke back winning 6 of the next 7 games to take the second set 6-3.  The third set was an amazing battle between two outstanding players with Graham emerging victorious 6-4 to regain his Australia title. “The contest was exceptional” quoted Robyn Smith CEO of Sport Inclusion Australia.

Graham has now won 5 Australian Singles Championship titles 2 more than any other male player. The women’s doubles final saw both singles finalists backing up on different sides of the net again.  Wren partnered with Victoria’s Sharon Morse and Lenarduzzi partnered with Queensland’s Kathryn Wilson.  As in the singles, Wren had won every doubles title since the first in 2000. The teams had met in the past three Championship deciders, all going the way of Wren and Morse.

Playing some of her best tennis for years Wilson and Lenarduzzi proved too strong for the defending Champions winning 6-2, 6-3 in one of the upsets of the Championships.

Queensland pairing of Mitchell James and Josh Holloway took on the defending champions and Silver medallists from the last INAS World Championships Archie Graham (QLD) and Damian Phillips (NSW) in the final of the men’s doubles.  It was the third time the teams had met in the Championship decider with Holloway and James winning in 2014 and Graham and Phillips in 2016. James and Holloway got off to a great start winning the first set 6-3 and continued their form into the second winning 6-4 to win their third Doubles title.

The 2018 Australian Tennis Championships will be remember for a number of reasons but importantly the introduction of Mixed Doubles.

South Australia’s Sam Von Einem and Queensland’s Yasmin Sanders earned their place in the history books as the inaugural Australian Mixed Doubles Champions.  It was a title they had to work hard for taking on the Bronze medallists from the last INAS World Championships Archie Graham (QLD) and Carla Lenarduzzi (VIC) in the semi final 6-4 and then the current World Champions Damian Phillips (NSW) and Kelly Wren (NSW) in the final 5-3, 4-1.

Having watched the two doubles finals INAS Global Games – Brisbane 2019 ambassador Pat Rafter presented the players with their trophies along with Sport Inclusion Australia Ambassador Wally Masur.  Both Masur and Rafter had commented on the quality of play but also on the terrific sportsmanship demonstrated from the Men and Women.

“The Australian Tennis Championships is the pinnacle event on the calendar worldwide for players with an intellectual impairment, obviously the World Championships has its prestige, but the Australian Championships being run alongside the Australian Open on amazing courts at Albert Reserve and Melbourne Park provides an amazing experience and competition second to none.”  Robyn Smith

“Without the support of Tennis Australia, Lord’s Taverners Australia Victoria Branch and the Victorian Government, we would not be able to put on such a magnificent event.” Smith said

The 2018 INAS World Tennis Championships will be held in Paris in July, Tennis Australia are set to announce the players to represent Australia in the coming days.  The Championships will be held during the INAS European Games in Paris from 15 to 22 July.  Australia dominated the 2017 INAS World Championships winning the men’s singles, Ladies Doubles and mixed doubles and finishing runners up in the Ladies singles and men’s doubles.

With quality and depth of players growing from year to year Australia looks set to go into the 2019 INAS Global Games in Brisbane not only full of confidence but also with a full quota of players. The INAS Global Games will be held in Brisbane in October 2019 and will incorporate the INAS World Tennis Championships.




Robyn Smith, CEO Sport Inclusion Australia: 0418 979 459

Alison Scott, Head Coach Australian Team: 0405 558 172

Jay Schuback, Tennis Australia: 0466 351 434

Tennis, Cricket, Action!

Its all action in Victoria in January with the National Cricket Inclusion Championships in Geelong and the Australian Tennis Championships for players with an intellectual impairment in Melbourne.

In it’s second year the National Cricket Inclusion Championships brings together Australia’s best cricketers with a hearing, vision or intellectual impairment vying for their respective National Championship title.  Six states (NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, WA and Tas) have returned for the Championship for players with an intellectual impairment which will conclude on Friday 26 January.

Defending Champions Victoria have suffered a surprise loss to South Australia in the preliminary rounds, but with semi finals to be held on Thursday are still a chance for a berth in the Championship decider and the opportunity to defend their title.

Back in Melbourne we will see some of the World’s best players in action in the 21st Australian Tennis Championships from the 24th to 27th of January.  Australia’s World Champions: Archie Graham (Men’s singles), Kelly Wren (Womens and mixed doubles), Damian Phillips (Mixed doubles) and Carla Lenarduzzi (women’s doubles) will all be back in action.

The men’s singles will see some exciting action with Graham (QLD) keen to reclaim his National title which he lost to Sam Von Einem (SA) in 2017.  Von Einem was a surprise winner in 2017 playing in his first Championships.  The Paralympic silver medallist for Table Tennis dominated last years event defeating the current World number 1 Graham in the final and also the former World number 1 Fabrice Higgins from the UK in the semi final.

The women’s singles will see NSW’s Kelly Wren start as favourite for her 21st National Title.  Undefeated at this event since 1998, Wren has won all singles and doubles titles.

This year’s Championship will see the introduction of Mixed doubles for the first time, an event that has seen the Australian team pairings of Wren (NSW) and Phillips (NSW) and Graham (QLD) and Carla Lenarduzzi enter.  With Wren and Graham the current World Champions and Graham and Lenarduzzi the Bronze medallists, it would be no surprise to see these pairings fight it out for that inaugural Natonal Title.


For more information

Aaron Dragwidge (Cricket Australia) 0416 255 391
Jay Schuback (Tennis Australia) 0466 351 434
Robyn Smith (Sport Inclusion Australia) 0418 979 459

December 2017 eNews

Congratulations to Australia’s latest WORLD CHAMPIONS and all athletes who have represented our country through 2017. You are wonderful sporting ambassadors both on and off the field of play. We also acknowledge the contribution of parents, coaches, staff and the Natonal and State Sporting Organisationas who have contributed to the athletes successes in all events.

Click here to read more from our latest newsletter.