Abigail Paduch has been a successful recipient of a Tier 3 Scholarship within the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship & Mentoring Program.
Abigail started Judo in 2013 after being introduced to the sport in her first year of high school. She instantly took to the sport, joining the junior NSW squad after just one month and three months later winning her first national title.
Returning to the sport after a forced break with a major spinal injury, in 2018, she was invited on her first International tour with the Australian Judo Junior team. To everyone’s surprise, she came away with her first Junior European Cup medal in Lithuania. Shortly after this win, Abigail claimed bronze at the Junior European Cup and the Oceania Continental Junior Champion title.
2019 was a major success for Abigail, who made history as the first Australian — and the first Oceanian — Judoka to win gold at the Asia-Oceania Championships. She also achieved three more European Cup medals and seventh place at Junior Worlds, despite competing with a torn ligament. Unfortunately, the injury put her out of the running for selection to represent at Tokyo 2020.
Moving forward during a worldwide Pandemic, there are plenty of unknowns however, Abigail has set her sights on the next major competition scheduled – the 2022 Commonwealth Games whilst continuing her studies, Bachelor of High-Performance Sport.
Abigail has proven herself as a fighter in both life and on the world stage, overcoming adversity, moving out of home at the age of 16, overcoming multiple injuries and yet continually standing on the podium in the green and gold. We expect to see good things from Abigail in 2020 and beyond.
Abigail speaks of her selection within the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship & Mentoring Program:
“As an athlete you put everything on the line — your body, finances, many years of your life — and to have support doing that is tremendously helpful and reassuring. Finding out I was awarded a SAHOF Scholarship really affirmed to me my potential and ability to contribute to the success of Australians sports on the world stage.”
Birthplace: Figtree, NSW
First started: 2013 (13 years old)
First Club: Illawarra International
Current Club: Zenbu Judo
Studying: Bachelor of High-Performance Sport
Aspirations After Sport: “I am currently in the process of becoming an accredited Exercise Scientist. I plan to continue onto complete my Masters in High Performance Sport. From there, I would love to give back to the high-performance industry, aspiring for a position within one of Australia’s Institutes of Sports and work closely in research with elite athletes.”
Rankings – as at Sep 2020
Snr International: 73
Snr National: 2
Jnr International: 3
Jnr National: 1
Awards, Honours & Achievements
- 2020: Asia-Oceania Junior Champion
- 2019: World Junior Championships – 7th
- 2019: Cluj-Napoca Junior European Cup – 2nd
- 2019: Poznan Junior European Cup – 3rd
- 2019: Malaga Junior European Cup – 3rd
- 2019: Australian Junior National Championships – 1st
- 2019: Australian Senior National Championships – 3rd
- 2018: Perth Oceania Open Champion
- 2018: Oceania Junior Cup, Perth – 1st
- 2018: Kaunas Junior European Cup – 3rd
Bio picture credit: The European Judo
Last updated 29/09/2020