Competing at the highest level of athletics for her primary school and bringing home a medal has resulted in a prestigious award for Indi Cooper.
The talented young sportsperson, who was nominated for various sporting achievements, was announced as the recipient of this year’s Gundagai Australia Day Sports Achievement Award.
Late last year Indi competed for her state of NSW as a para-athlete at the School Sport Australia Track and Field Championships where she brought home a bronze medal for her outstanding effort in long jump.
Only finding out about the award last week, when being interviewed by the Gundagai Independent, Indi said she was shocked.
“I didn’t realise this is what the interview was about, wow!” Indi said.
“That’s so cool and a real honour.”
Classified as a T/F38 athlete Indi competed at the national event in Canberra against people with disabilities ranging from vision impairment to hearing loss.
After her personal best performance in the long jump event Indi is now recognised as the third best long jumper in Australia in the 10-12 years girls para long jump event.
“This award is almost as special as winning the bronze medal,” she said with a huge smile.
“I’m so excited and really shocked.
“Mum and dad are really proud of all my achievements and I’m sure they are just as proud of this award.”
Looking forward to being presented her award on Australia Day Indi said she hopes the award can help others.
“I’m looking forward to getting it,” she said.
“But I hope the award helps to inspire other kids to aim for their goals and gives them the encouragement to never give up.
“I never thought I’d be good at sport and look at what I achieved, I’m keen to go on with my athletics but I’m also going to play a number of other sports this year like leaguetag.”
As Indi moves into year 5 at Gundagai Public School this year she is thrilled to be able to get more opportunities with her sport.
“The year 5 and 6 students get to do heaps of cool sports like netball and touch carnivals so I’m looking forward to that,” she said.
“I’m also looking forward to the athletics carnivals as well this year to see how I go.”
Already extremely proud of all Indi has achieved in her short lifetime Indi’s mum, Hope Cooper, said they are stoked she was nominated and awarded the Australia Day sports award.
“It was a thrill to hear she was nominated, I didn’t even think this is something she would get,” Hope said.
“I think it’s good to recognise para-athletes and the dedication they put into their sport.
“It’s also good to see younger children who are having a go be recognised for their achievements.
“It shows that no matter the disability you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.”