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STRONG Maria
Sport Para athletics
NPC Australia   
GenderWomen
Age48
Place of BirthMelbourne, AUS
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Cerebral Palsy
Classification
F33
Further Personal Information
Residence
Melbourne, VIC, AUS
Occupation
Coach
Languages
English
Higher education
Social Work Studies - Swinburne University of Technology: Melbourne, VIC, AUS
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She began competing in Para athletics in 2017 at age 46 in Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
Why this sport?
She has a passion for sport, and worked as an official at sporting events before she became an athlete. "I was a competitive swimmer as a teenager. Back then, I had never heard of disability sport or the Paralympics. I raced people who did not have a disability, and usually came last or near-last. I have been an athletics official since 2014. I saw other throwers compete and decided to have a go myself."
Club / Team
Athletics Essendon: Melbourne, VIC, AUS
Name of coach
John Eden [personal]
Senior International Debut
Year
2019
Competing for
Australia
Tournament
World Championships
Location
Dubai, UAE
General Interest
Nicknames
Maz (Facebook profile, 30 Sep 2019)
Hobbies
Photography. (vis.org.au, 01 Aug 2019)
Hero / Idol
Australian Para cyclist Carol Cooke. (vis.org.au, 01 Aug 2019)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Age is just a number." (vis.org.au, 01 Aug 2019)
Awards and honours
She was named Disability Sport and Recreation's Masters Sports Person of the Year at the 2018 Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards in Australia. (dsr.org.au, 01 Sep 2018; cpsn.org.au, 07 Aug 2018)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (paralympic.org.au, 07 Apr 2019)
Impairment
She has cerebral palsy. She has also been diagnosed with autism, epilepsy, and a brain injury that she acquired after experiencing status epilepticus in her twenties. (paralympic.org.au, 07 Apr 2019)
Other information
OCCUPATION
She works as a swimming coach in Melbourne, VIC, Australia. (Athlete, 06 Nov 2019; vis.org.au, 01 Aug 2019)

Competition Highlights (historical)
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
5 2019 Shot Put F33 6.37