Sports Stars 8, 9 & 10: Alexandra Bradbury, Ethan Moos & Nicholas Platonov
Recognition for gymnast Alexandra Bradbury, wheelchair racer Ethan Moos and rising Judo star, Nicholas Platonov.
By Anthony Stavrinos*
A HIGH-ACHIEVING gymnast and emerging stars in wheelchair racing and judo are the eighth, ninth and tenth 2022-23 Ryde Sports Foundation Sports Star of the Year monthly winners, who were presented on the evening of May 12 at an invitation-only event at North Ryde Golf Club.
ALEXANDRA BRADBURY – GYMNASTICS
Alexandra (Lexie) began her career at Five Dock Leisure Centre in 2016 at the age of seven, before moving to Gladesville Gymnastics in 2018.
She displays natural talent in her discipline of Women’s Artistic Gymnastics, but is also hard-working and self-motivated, according to Gladesville Gymnastics Club coach Kris Ironfield, who nominated her for a Sports Star award.
“Lexie enjoys the comradery of her teammates and encourages them to strive for their personal best,” Ms Ironfield said.
“She is a role model for our younger gymnasts and willingly assists them whenever possible, especially at in-house competitions and special events.
“Lexie trains 10 hours per week and has managed to juggle the challenge of transitioning to high school last year.”
She said that with Lexie’s own high expectations and commitment to both her academic and sporting pursuits, it was a challenge for her.
“She reduced her training load to assist with this, as well as to help manage an ongoing back injury,” Ms Ironfield said.
“Throughout her injury Lexie displayed determination and self-motivation, often working independently through her exercise program when specific training skills weren’t achievable.”
Despite the challenges, Lexie enjoyed success in the 2022 season, competing in Level 6.
This was all the more impressive after her previous two years of competitions had been cancelled due to COVID restrictions.
At the NSW State Championships – where 160 gymnasts competed from the two Metro Zones and the Country Championships – Lexie finished third overall, placing first on floor, 3rd on bars and 4th on vault.
The top gymnasts from the trials were selected to be part of ‘City’ or ‘Country’ where in age-based pairs, their scores were combined to find the top pairs.
“Lexie and her teammate won gold and assisted ‘City’ with being the overall champions,” Ms Ironfield said.
“This year, Lexie has moved into Level 7 and she is looking forward to competing ‘optional’ routines, as she continues to work hard to progress her skills.
“We are very proud to have Lexie in our Senior Squad and are hoping that she has another successful competition season.”
ETHAN MOOS – WHEELCHAIR RACING
TWENTY-YEAR-OLD Ethan Moos is a rising star in wheelchair racing and has been selected in the Australian team to compete later this month at the ParAthletics Grand Prix 2023 at the Sport Arena Nottwil, Switzerland.
He was nominated for his Sports Star award by athletics coach Glen Lebeau at Wheelchair Sports NSW, which is based in the City of Ryde.
Born with his disability, Ethan later in his life discovered wheelchair racing and hasn’t looked back. He was on a remarkable progression trajectory, until he needed major surgery in 2021 (spinal fusion).
“When he came back after nearly one year of recovery, he had to face adversity, challenges and a race crash, but he never gave up,” Mr Lebeau said.
“The last 18 months have been very hard and challenging for Ethan: his chair position has changed and his equipment needed to be adapted.
“However, his commitment and training ethics are now seeing him return to top form with, for example, a 5th place in 100m event at the 2023 Australian Open Championships.”
He’ll be competing in his first international event in Switzerland alongside some of the best competitors in wheelchair racing, including Paralympic dual gold medalist and TWT Ryde Sports Foundation (RSF) Sports Star of the Year 2019 Madison de Rozario or Marcel Hug.
“In terms of community, Ethan mentors the young athletes coming to the wheelchair racing program and is on his way to become a bigger star,” Mr Lebeau said.
NICHOLAS PLATONOV – JUDO
FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD Epping Boys High School student and Marsfield resident Nicholas Platonov is a junior star in the sport of Judo.
A member of the Budokan Judo Club Australia, he was nominated for a Sports Star award by the Club’s Head Coach, Kerrye Katz.
He is a two times Australian National Judo Champion (2019 and 2022) and NSW Junior Boys Competitor of the Year (2019) and achieved 1st place in the 2023 Canberra International Open and 2023 Sydney International Open.
He is now preparing for 2023 Judo Australia National Championships being held at the Gold Coast Sport & Leisure Centre in Carrara, from June 9 – 12.
*Story courtesy The Weekly Times