Angie Ballard

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Angie Ballard
180411 - Angie Ballard - 3b - 2012 Team processing.jpg
2012 Australian Paralympic Team portrait of Ballard
Personal information
Full name Angela Ballard
Nationality  Australia
Born 6 June 1982
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Height 1.71 metres (5 ft 7 in)[1]
Weight 35 kilograms (5 st 7 lb)[1] – 40 kilograms (6 st 4 lb)[2]
Sport
Sport Paralympic athletics
College team The University of Sydney
Club NSWIS

Angela "Angie" Ballard (born 6 June 1982) is an Australian Paralympic athlete who competes in T53 wheelchair sprint events. She became a paraplegic at age 7 due to a car accident.

She began competing in wheelchair racing in 1994, and first represented Australia in 1998.[6] Over four Paralympic Games from 2000 to 2012, she has won three silver and two bronze medals.[7] Her current coach is Louise Sauvage and her training partner is Madison de Rozario.[8]

Ballard held athletics scholarships at the Australian Institute of Sport from 1999 to 2001,[9] and The University of Sydney (while studying first commerce[10] and then psychology[6]), and also represents New South Wales Institute of Sport. She has been appointed by a number of organizations as a disability or sports ambassador, and currently sits on the board of Wheelchair Sports NSW.[11]

Personal[edit]

At seven I was really angry and isolated. It was frightening. I wish I’d had someone to tell me it would get better, that life’s not about the walking but about living your life.

Angie Ballard, 2008[5]

Ballard was born on 6 June 1982[6] in Canberra.[12] At the age of seven, she became a (T10) paraplegic after a car accident, when her mother lost control of the car through fatigue.[5][6][9][13] Following the accident, her initial hospitalization and rehabilitation was in Canberra for three months, among elderly amputees.[5][12] Her rehabilitation was then moved to the Royal North Shore Hospital, where she met Christie Dawes (née Skelton), who she would later race with in the Australian 4x100 m relay team at the 2008 Summer Paralympics.[5][14] Because her brother had spina bifida, and was already "in the [regular] system", her parents insisted that Angie continue at a regular school, rather than one specifically for disabled students.[5] She attended Lyneham Primary School[15] and Lyneham High School in Canberra.[16] Her physical education teacher was one of the people who first encouraged her to participate in wheelchair sports.[15] After her rehabilitation she tried swimming and wheelchair basketball.[13] Her first experiences of racing at the age of 12 resulted in blisters and a sore neck,[17] but wheelchair athletics soon became her passion.[13] At age 14, after treatment for scoliosis, Ballard was unable to participate in sport for a year.[5]

She took up an athletics scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra from 1999 to 2001.[9] In 2002, she moved to Sydney to attend university on a sports scholarship,[18] initially studying commerce.[10] As of 2011, she lives in Liberty Grove, New South Wales and attends the University of Sydney studying for a Bachelor of Psychology,[6] with the intention of practising as a psychologist.[5]

Athletics[edit]

People think because you end up in a chair that is it; but it is not. It's human nature, plain and simple, to better yourself; my sport has helped me get over the fact that I will never walk again. People all face and overcome different sorts of pitfalls in life. Sport has opened up a lot of opportunities for me; I meet a lot of different people, travel overseas a lot and have great things to look forward to.

Angie Ballard, (2000)[15]

Ballard is a wheelchair racing athlete, competing mainly in category T53 sprint events.[6] Compared to T54 athletes, she has less use of her abdominal muscles, which means she cannot raise herself as much in her wheelchair to get the best angle to propel herself forward.[12]

Ballard first entered competitive wheelchair races in 1994, at the age of twelve.[6][13] Her first racing wheelchair was bought second hand.[15] By 1997, she started taking the sport more seriously[13] and began setting records in Australian athletics for her classification.[9] A year later she was representing her country on the international stage.[6] By 2000, she held national records in the T53 100 m and 200 m events.[9]

From 2002 she held a sports scholarship at the University of Sydney, where she was coached by Andrew Dawes (Christie's husband).[5][18] At the time, Dawes also coached Louise Sauvage,[19] and on occasion the two would train together.[13] After Sauvage retired from competitive wheelchair athletics following the 2004 Games, she became Ballard's coach.[13][20] As of 2012 her training partner is Madison de Rozario.[8]

Paralympics[edit]

Ballard competed in Sydney in the 2000 Summer Paralympics but did not win any medals,[7] placing fourth in both the 100 m and 200 m events;[21][22] she was also a torch bearer,[23] and featured in the entertainment section of the opening ceremony, where she circled the track 12.3 metres (40 ft) in the air, suspended by a blimp and giant inflated angels.[24][25] In preparation for the 2004 Athens Paralympics, Ballard trained six days a week[12] in 11 sessions.[26] Her training included going to Centennial Park and training on the hills there. It also included track work twice a week and doing weight training at least three times a week.[12] This training schedule caused a few injuries, so she reduced the training frequency for later Games.[26]

Sauvage and Ballard at the 2012 Australian Paralympian of the Year awards ceremony

Just before the Games, she competed in a warm up event in Switzerland, and set Australian records in the 100 m, 400 m and 800 m events.[27] At the 2004 games, she won a bronze medal in the T53 100 m, behind Tanni Grey-Thompson and Francesca Porcellato.[7][28] Her goal for the 2008 Beijing Paralympics was to set a personal best,[29] but she also had eyes on a medal.[26] She took the year off her psychology degree to train six times a week.[26] At the 2008 games, along with her team mates Christie Dawes, Madison de Rozario, and Jemima Moore, she achieved her best Paralympic result, winning a silver medal behind China's world record in the T53/54 4x100 m relay.[6][7][30] In the individual events, she finished fifth in the women's T53 100 m event (a race won in world record time by Huang Lisha[31]), seventh in the women's T53 200 m event (also won in a world record time by Huang[32]), seventh in the women's T53 400 m event, and led out the women's 800 m final, eventually finishing sixth.[33][34] After a couple of sub-par competition results in 2011, Ballard made big changes to her diet, gloves, technique, chair position, and training regime.[35] She entered the 2012 London Paralympics ranked world number one in both the T53 100 m and 200 m.[36] At the games, Ballard participated in the T53 class events for 100 m, 200 m, 400 m and 800 m events. She won two silver medals in the 200 m and 400 m T53 events, and a bronze medal in the 100 m T53 event.[7]

World Championships[edit]

Angie Ballard competing at the 2011 World Championships warm-up meet in Sydney, January 2011

In August 1998, Ballard competed at the International Paralympic Committee World Championships in Birmingham, England, where she was part of the gold medal winning Australian women's 4 x100 m and 4x400 m relay teams.[9] Both relay wins set long-standing world records.[21] In the 2002 World Championships, she won gold in the 100 m.[5] At the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France, she won silver medals in the Women's 100 m, Women's 200 m and Women's 800 m T53 and a bronze medal in the 400 m T53.[37][38][39]

World Cup[edit]

In the inaugural Paralympic World Cup in Manchester in 2005, Ballard placed third in the Women's T53 100 m.[40]

Australian titles[edit]

Ballard won the 100 m women's wheelchair open title in 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2008, and finished second in 2000, 2003, 2010, and 2011. In the 200 m event, she won gold in 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2010, silver in 2000 and 2005 and bronze in 2006. In the 400 m, she won gold in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2008 and 2010, silver in 2004 and bronze in 2002 and 2006. In the 800 m, she won gold in 1999 and 2001, silver in 2000 and 2005, and bronze in 2002 and 2004. In the 1500 m, she won gold in 2005 and 2010.[41]

In 1999, she competed at Australia's Junior Wheelchair Nationals. She won five gold medals at those games and was named the event's Female Athlete of the Games.[9]

Ballard won a gold and silver at the 2011 Sydney Track Classic.[42][43] At the 2012 competition, Ballard set personal bests and Oceania records for the 100 m (in a time of 17.27 s), 200 m (30.12 s) and 400 m (56.89 s) events.[44]

Long distance events[edit]

Ballard also sometimes competes in longer distance events, in which the disability classifications are usually combined, so she competes against athletes in the higher T54 classification.[5] She represented Australia in the 800 m (T54) at the 2006 Commonwealth Games,[45][46][47] placing 6th in the final.[48] She has also raced in and helped organize[17] the 10 km Oz Day wheelchair race, placing 2nd in 1999,[9] 3rd in 2005,[21] and 3rd in 2012.[49] In 1998, together with Louise Sauvage, Christie Skelton, and Holly Ladmore, she completed an 845-kilometre (525 mi) relay from Byron Bay to Bondi Beach, which raised $200,000 for disabled athletes.[50]

Advocacy and patronage[edit]

Ballard has been appointed as an ambassador or advocate by a number of organizations with an interest in people with disabilities, sport, health, or exercise. In 2000 she was selected for Team MAA (Motor Accidents Authority), to discuss road trauma with other young people.[51] In 2005 she was appointed as an ambassador for Technical Aid to the Disabled. She helped recruit volunteers, attended fundraisers, posed for photos and showed them her medal.[52][53] Later that year she also visited patients at the Westmead Children's Hospital alongside a number of celebrities to help them celebrate Christmas.[54] In 2007 Ballard was chosen as an ambassador for Walk to Work Day.[55] She is on the board of the Wheelchair Sports Association of New South Wales.[11][56]

Alongside a number of other university-affiliated athletes, Ballard attended a press conference to oppose the introduction of Voluntary Student Unionism.[57]

Recognition[edit]

In November 2013, Ballard was named Athletics Australia Female Para-Athlete of the Year.[58]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Biography – Ballard, Angela". Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Corporation. 2006. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Athlete profiles - Ballard, Angela". Athletics Australia. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Peacock takes Pistorius' 100m crown". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Women's 100 m T53". The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Schofield, Deborah (May 2008). "The Road to Beijing – Angela Ballard (athletics)" (PDF). PQ News: 10–11. Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Angie Ballard". Australian Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Angela Ballard's profile on paralympic.org, retrieved 4 March 2012.
  8. ^ a b Clement-Meehan, Lindsay (27 January 2012). "Straight eight has Fearnley eyeing Paralympic gold – National News – National – General". Blacktown Sun. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "Angie Ballard". New South Wales, Australia: Motor Accidents Authority. 1998. Archived from the original on 8 October 1999. 
  10. ^ a b "Sydney University sends team of 17 to Athens Olympics". The University of Sydney. 27 July 2004. Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "WS NSW Board". Wheelchair Sports NSW. Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c d e Croker, Graham (12 March 2004). "Sydney athletes selected for Athens". University of Sydney. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g McGrath, Olivia (14 September 2008). "Angie Ballard: Forging a partnership with legend Sauvage". Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  14. ^ Huebner, Barbara (31 October 2011). "For Aussie Wheelchair Racer, a Home-Course Advantage". ING New York City Marathon Daily (Nyrrmedia.org). Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  15. ^ a b c d "Broken back paves way to Paralympics". Australian Sports Commission. 11 October 2000. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "SEAL handbook – Sporting Excellence at Lyneham" (PDF). Lyneham High School. 2011. p. 7. Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  17. ^ a b Habib, Rashell (18 January 2011). "Champion Angie in the fast lane". Inner West Courier. p. 23. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  18. ^ a b "Beijing Olympian Angela Ballard". Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness. 2008. Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. 
  19. ^ "Dawes dazed by career curve". Sports Coach (Australian Government - Australian Sports Commission) 24 (2). 2001. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  20. ^ Phillips, Sharon (2007). "Louise Sauvage: elite wheelchair track and field coach". Sports Coach (Australian Government - Australian Sports Commission) 29 (4). Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  21. ^ a b c McDonald, Margie (27 January 2005). "Sauvage protege nails third place". The Australian (Nationwide News). 
  22. ^ "Medal winner earns a break". Glebe and Inner City news (Nationwide News). 21 October 2004. p. 48. 
  23. ^ "Paralympic flame fires athletes' hopes". Illawarra Mercury (Fairfax). 6 October 2000. p. 4. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  24. ^ Vangelova, Luba (18 October 2000). "Sydney spectacular – Paralympics begin with festive Opening Ceremonies". CNN Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  25. ^ "Low-flying blimp lifts the crowd". The Courier Mail (Nationwide News). 19 October 2000. p. 6. 
  26. ^ a b c d Buckley, James (11 April 2008). "Medal dreams". The Queanbeyan Age. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  27. ^ "Angie on a golden roll". Glebe and Inner City news. 16 September 2004. p. 64. 
  28. ^ Hudson, Elizabeth (23 September 2004). "Tanni races to gold". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  29. ^ "Angie Ballard is not putting too much emphasis on medals and is aiming for personal best times in Beijing.". Sydney, Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14 September 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  30. ^ "Aust adds silver and double bronze to medal haul". ABC Grandstand Sport. 17 September 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  31. ^ McGrath, Olivia (17 September 2008). "Aussies sprint to golden trifecta". ABC Grandstand Sport. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  32. ^ McGrath, Olivia (16 September 2008). "Francis, relay team add to gold tally". ABC News. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  33. ^ "Colman narrowly misses bronze". ABC Grandstand Sport. 16 September 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  34. ^ Ainsworth, Robyn (19 September 2008). "Angie Ballard grabs silver". Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  35. ^ David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall (29 August 2012). "Angie Ballard heads to London in form". Athletics NSW. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  36. ^ Murray, Oliver (24 August 2012). "Paralympics 2012: Next stop gold for Camperdown's Angie Ballard". Inner West Courier (news.com.au). Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  37. ^ "IPC13: Australian medal tally bolstered by Ballard and Henly". Athletics Australia News. 21 July 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  38. ^ "IPC13: Two silver & two bronze won in Lyon". Athletics Australia News. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  39. ^ July 2013 "IPC13: Ballard wins third SILVER". Athletics Australia News. 26 July 2013. 
  40. ^ "Paralympic World Cup results". BBC Sport. 22 May 2005. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  41. ^ Croker, Graham (18 April 2011). "Tactics end Renshaw's reign". Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  42. ^ "Dani Samuels and Angela Ballard gold". Sportstar.com. 21 March 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  43. ^ "2011 » Sydney Track Classic – Australia's premier athletics meet – Saturday, 18 February 2012". Athletics New South Wales. 18 February 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  44. ^ "Summer Down Under – Wheelchair Sports NSW". Wsnsw.org.au. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  45. ^ Lane, Rebecca (17 March 2006). "Commonwealth Games – Day 1 results". Sydney Uni Sport. Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  46. ^ Gardiner, James (21 March 2006). "Dawes plans to outsmart big guns". Newcastle Herald (Fairfax). p. 34. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  47. ^ Gardiner, James (22 March 2006). "Relaxed Eliza is ready to roll rival". Newcastle Herald (Fairfax). p. 46. 
  48. ^ G. R. (25 March 2006). "Day 9 Competition Results". Newcastle Herald (Fairfax). p. 51. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  49. ^ Wake, Rebekka (26 January 2012). "Eight straight for wheelchair racing great". Australian Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  50. ^ Porter, Jonathan (1998-11-30). "Big push ends for brave quartet". Daily Telegraph (Nationwide News). p. 15. 
  51. ^ "Team MAA 2000". New South Wales, Australia: Motor Accidents Authority. 2000. Archived from the original on 7 October 1999. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  52. ^ "The Weekly Times Online". Weeklytimes.com.au. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  53. ^ "Her fans know she'll win gold". Northern District Times. 15 March 2006. p. 6. 
  54. ^ "Christmas in their smiles". Paramatta Advertiser (Nationwide News). 7 December 2005. p. 12. 
  55. ^ "Angie signs up for charity". Inner-West Weekly (Nationwide News). 27 September 2007. p. 4. 
  56. ^ "Interview with Angie Ballard, Wheelchair athlete". Sportstar.com. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  57. ^ Thompson, Matthew (20 April 2005). "Athletes come out swinging over student unionism". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax). Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  58. ^ "Mickle, Tallent win big at awards". Athletics Australia News. 15 November 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 

External links[edit]