Wadley Wins Queensland Junior Sport Star of the Year
by Australian Sailing - Stacey French
Sailor, Kristen Wadley from Tinaroo Sailing Club in Far North Queensland has taken out the 2016 Queensland Junior Award sponsored by The Courier Mail and Channel 7.
Kristen’s Mum, Annette accepted the award on the night attended by 700 Queenslanders to recognise top on and off field sporting performances since October 2015. Kirsten was thrilled to be recognised at the annual state awards.
“It was so good to win this award,” Kristen said. “To be recognised for all of the hard work I have done over the last 12 months was a great reward.”
Kristen has been juggling year 10 studies and a change of class to the Lasers in 2016 but the 15-year-old Atherton High School Student has taken it all in her stride.
“I surprised myself this year in being able to maintain my grades with the amount of sailing I have been doing interstate and nationally,” Kristen said. “I have been sailing for seven-and-a-half years mostly in Bics and started in the Laser in February this year.”
At the end of 2015, Kristen won the Under 16 World O’Pen Cup in Victoria, 15 points clear of her nearest rival. She backed this up to win the 2016 Under 16 Girls World Open Cup in France, retaining the World Championship crown for the fifth consecutive year.
A highly decorated O’Pen Bic Sailor, Kristen is now taking on the Laser class and competed at Sail Melbourne in the Laser 4.7 finishing first girl and eighth overall. As her sailing career evolves, Kristen credits much of her success to her family.
“My family are a sailing family so they are all really supportive and involved which is awesome,” Kristen said. “My Dad (Roger) is my Coach, he is dedicated, motivated and I really look up to him on and off the water.”
Australian Sailing Regional Manager, Ben Callard said that the Queensland Sport Awards are great recognition for sailing and demonstrates further that our sailing athletes are amongst the best of the best.
“It is great for Kristen, and her family to receive this award for all of the tireless hours she has dedicated to training and competing,” Ben said. “It also demonstrates that no matter where you live, you can sail at a top level.
“Kristen’s award recognition sends a strong message to all girls that they too can be successful in our sport of sailing.”
Other sailing finalists at the Queensland Sport Awards included; Mat Belcher & Will Ryan (Sport Team of the Year) and Hobie 16 sailors, Haylie Andrews & Milly Macfarlane (Junior Sport Team of the Year).