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Wallan para-athlete eyes French competition

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Grace Frost
Grace Frost
Hi, I'm Grace Frost. I was honoured to report for the Review as their Digital Journalist from mid-2022 to the beginning of 2024. Ive since made a move to the Herald Sun.

WALLAN para-athlete Kirra Wright is once again working towards a major competition as she aims for the para-athletics in Paris next year.

Wright most recently took part in a national championship in April and competed in an age group against people three years older, winning the long jump competition and placing sixth overall in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 400 metres.

To be selected to go to Paris, Wright aims to take part in the nationals in Adelaide in April 2024, where she will be considered depending on her performances in the finals of each athletic discipline.

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Wright is classified in the T38 class and suffers from cerebral palsy, among other medical issues, as a result of a stroke.

Kirra’s mother Kylie Portelli said her daughter had also been selected to take part in the 2023 World Abilitysport Games in Thailand in December, but was undecided as she focused on Paris.

“We don’t know if we’re doing that yet, but she’s been selected to go on the 100, 200, 400, long jump and shot put,” she said.

“To go to Thailand, it’s just so expensive. When we’ve got Paris coming up potentially, we’ve just got to try and focus on one big event at a time.”

Ms Portelli said competition was becoming more difficult for Wright, as her medical issues had worsened in recent months, creating uncertainty over her participation in future competitions.

She said Wright had received support from multiple Indigenous organisations.

The Long Walk and Opening The Doors have both offered to help Wright on her journey to Paris next year.

“If we can open up some interest in the local community and ask them to jump on board that’d help because Kirra’s going to go places,” Ms Portelli said.

“She’s already holding the records for the under 15 and under 17, even though she’s only just turned 15.

“She’ll be back in her own age group [for Nationals], so she’s got a good chance of coming away with gold and silver.”

To help support Kirra, people can contact Ms Portelli on 0423 482 819.

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