Angela Ballard is a world-class competitor with vast experience, selected for a record seven World Para- Athletics Championships. She has just returned to Australia after a successful series of events in Switzerland, where she broke personal bests, Australian records and even dipped under times that would have been world records, only to be edged out for the win.
At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Angela won gold in the 1500m and backed it up the following year at the IPC Grand Prix in Nottwil, Switzerland, where she broke a world record in the 400m that had stood for six years. In 2015 at the world championships she had an outstanding meet, winning the T53 200m and 400m and adding bronze in the 800m. At the Rio Paralympics, she claimed three medals, silver in the 4x400m relay and bronze in the 100m and 400m.
Competing at her seventh world championships, Angie’s won another two medals in the sprints. She won silver in the T53 100m and 200m. Her 100m medal, was herthe fifth consecutive medal in this event at a global meet, starting with the London Paralympics. The two medals brought her tally to an outstanding 12, just one behind Louise Sauvage, the all-time leader.
In February 2018, Angie was named in her third Commonwealth Games team and will have a shot at defending her T54 1500m crown from Glasgow.
When Angela was seven- years -old, she was involved in a near-fatal car accident that paralysed her. She recalls waking up on the side of the road unable to move after her father asked her to sit up. She spent six weeks in hospital before returning home to Canberra. Angela commenced rehabilitation in Sydney the following year and, having been exposed to disability early (her brother has spina bifida), it wasn’t long before she adapted to life in a wheelchair.
Angela experimented with many sports after attending a Wheelchair Sports NSW camp but ultimately credits her PE teacher with finding her competitive edge in wheelchair racing. Looking for new ways to challenge herself, she began competing soon after. In ten years’ time, she hopes to have added Paralympic gold to her collection of medals, still be involved in wheelchair sport, and to be in a position to support herself, her family and the other important people in her life.