A world champion shot-putter and a rising badminton star are Victoria University’s male and female athletes of 2015.
Male athlete of the year, Todd Hodgetts, is a world-record-holding Paralympian who won gold in shot-put at the London Paralympics in 2012 in his intellectual-disability class. He later received an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for this accomplishment.
The 24-year-old Mount Evelyn resident also won gold in shot put at the 2015 Australian University Games on the Gold Coast in September.
Most recently, Todd was part of Australia’s 50-member team in the International Paralympic Committee athletics championships in October in Qatar, where he set a new record of 15.83 metres to win gold. This places him in a strong position to defend his Paralympic title in Rio next year.
Todd is a first-year Diploma of Sport Development student, as well as VU’s 2015 high-performance elite sport scholar.
Female athlete of the year, Gronya Somerville, 20, is a doubles’ badminton champion also aiming to qualify for next year’s Olympics.
The Bachelor of Exercise Science student won recent women’s or mixed doubles’ titles in the Waikato International, Auckland International, Maribyrnong International, and Sydney International badminton challenges.
The Brunswick East resident received this year’s ‘Active Maribyrnong’ sport scholarship, a $5000 Maribyrnong City Council award for VU students.
In addition to her sporting accomplishments, Gronya prides herself on her famous Chinese ancestry as the great-granddaughter of well-known Qing dynasty reformer, Kang Youwei.
Long-distance kayaker and Yarrawonga resident Brea Roadley took out VU’s Jacinta Carroll Academic and Sporting Excellence Award.
The Bachelor of Exercise Science and Human Movement/Bachelor of Psychological Studies double-degree student recently broke the open women’s half-marathon record in the Massive Murray Paddle (formerly known as the Murray Marathon), the longest river race of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
Photos of the athletes are available.
Ann Marie Angebrandt: 03 9919 5487, 0401 100 576 or [email protected]