Resilience the common denominator for ACU 11

Australian Catholic University’s electric eleven have been lauded for their unbreakable spirit as they prepare to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Four-time Paralympic swimmer Brenden Hall and Rio sevens rugby gold medallist Emma Tonegato are among 11 current and former students who will represent ACU in Japan at the Summer Games from July 23.

In congratulating the contingent, ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Zlatko Skrbis praised the resilience of the medal hopefuls, most of whom have had their lives turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“But while the world stood still you let your passion lead you. You dedicated yourself to further your goals, turned misfortune into opportunity, you chose to keep playing the long game,” he said.

“Your unwavering commitment to excellence and belief in your dreams did not go unrecognised. Our Olympians, our Paralympians, this is your moment. Your time has come.

“Be assured, too, that these Games will be unique for the unprecedented context in which they will be held. The focus of the world will be trained on the athletes and their powerful messages of excellence, unity and legacy. It will be unforgettable.”

Hall was just 15 when he attended his first Games at Beijing in 2008 and is now one of Australia’s most seasoned Paralympians. The Bachelor of Physiotherapy student is striving to add to his three gold, one silver and two bronze medals in Tokyo.

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy student Tonegato made history five years ago as a member of Australia’s gold medal winning women’s sevens team. The 26-year-old overcame a serious shoulder injury to be one of five Rio Olympians returning for Australia’s gold medal defence.

ACU will be well represented in the hockey, with alumni Rachel Lynch (Bachelor of Nursing) and assistant coach Katie Allen (Bachelor of Psychological Science) selected for the two-time Olympic champion Hockeyroos.

Among those on Olympic debut this year will be rower and Elite Athlete and Performer Program member Rowena Meredith.

Born in England and raised in Sydney, she will race in Australia’s women’s quadruple scull after a gruelling two-year qualification period.

“It’s been a bumpy road,” the Bachelor of Paramedicine student said. “But it’s a huge relief to qualify and I’m excited to step over that last hurdle into the next chapter of my career.”

ACU’s Tokyo 2020 Olympians and Paralympians

Reba Stewart (Taekwondo, Bachelor of Psychological Science/Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science), Rowena Meredith (Rowing, Bachelor of Paramedicine), Emma Tonegato (Seven Rugby, Bachelor of Occupational Therapy), Anabelle Smith (Diving, Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science, alumnus), Rachel Lynch (Hockey, Bachelor of Nursing, alumnus), Paul Adams (Shooting, Bachelor of Nursing, alumnus), Elle Armit (Water Polo, Graduate Certificate in Religious Education, alumnus), Katie Allen (Hockey, Bachelor of Psychological Science, alumnus), Melissa (Milly) Tapper (Olympic and Paralympic Team, Table Tennis, Bachelor of Exercise Science, alumnus), Brenden Hall (Swimming, Bachelor of Physiotherapy), Ellie Cole (Swimming, Bachelor of Exercise and Health Science, alumnus).

Viewing guide

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be broadcast by the Seven Network across their three television channels, Channel Seven, 7Mate and 7Two, and streamed via the 7Plus website or app.

Saturday, July 24 (All times are listed in AEST)

Rowena Meredith, Women's Four Heats, 0930 - 1330

Elle Armit, Australia v Canada, 1500 - 1750

Milly Tapper, Mixed Doubles, Round of 16, 1000 – 1345

Sunday, July 25

Paul Adams, Mens Skeet Qualification, 1000 – 1700

Rachel Lynch, Australia v Spain, 1100 - 1445

Monday, July 26

Paul Adams, Mens Skeet Qualification and Finals, 1000 - 1815

Rachel Lynch, Australia v China, 1100 - 1445

Elle Armit, Australia v Netherlands, 1920 - 2210

Tuesday, July 27

Reba Stewart, Women 67+, 1100 - 1800 Wednesday 28th July

Wednesday, July 28

Rachel Lynch , Australia v Japan, 1930 - 2315

Thursday, July 29

Rachel Lynch, Australia v New Zealand, 2000 - 2345

Emma Tonegato, Australia v Japan, 1000 – 1300

Emma Tonegato, Australia v China, 1730 - 2030

Friday, July 30

Anabelle Smith, Womens 3m Springboard Prelim, 1600 - 1830

Emma Tonegato, Australia v USA, 1000 - 1300

Emma Tonegato, Quarterfinals & Placing, 1730 - 2030

Elle Armit, Australia v Spain 1920 - 2210

Saturday, July 31

Rachel Lynch, Australia v Argentina, 1030 - 1415

Sunday, August 1

Elle Armit, Australia v South Africa, 1920 - 2010

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