Abigail Paduch is a Judoka and a recipient of a Tier 3 Scholarship within the 2021 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program.
Abigail was born in Figtree, NSW, IN 2000 and was introduced to judo in her first year of high school. After only one month she had joined the NSW junior squad, and after three months she had won her first national title. She is currently ranked number 3 in the world at junior level.
A major spinal injury kept Abigail out of the sport for a long period of time, but she returned in 2018 and was chosen for her first Australian team. She won bronze at the Junior European Cup in Lithuania, and returned to the southern hemisphere that same year to become the Oceania Junior and Open champion.
In 2019, she reached the podium in almost every major competition. At the national championships, she won the Junior division and finished 3rd in Opens, then collected two bronze medals and a silver at Junior European Cup events. She finished 2019 with 7th at the World Junior Championships despite competing with a torn ligament, and was the first Australian to be crowned Asia-Oceania Junior Champion in 2020.
Injury forced Abigail out of contention for the Tokyo Olympic Games, and she is now preparing for the 2022 Commonwealth Games while completing a Bachelor of High-Performance Sport. She plans to become an Exercise Scientist and to complete a Masters in High-Performance Sport, and aspires to work with elite athletes at a sports institute.
“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.” – Abigail Paduch on being selected as a 2021 Tier 3 Scholarship Holder.
Awards, Honours & Achievements
- 2018: Perth Oceania Open Champion
- 2018: Oceania Junior Cup, Perth – 1st
- 2018: Kaunas Junior European Cup – 3rd
- 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
- 2020: Asia-Oceania Junior Champion
- 2021: Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship Holder – Tier 3
Bio picture credit: The European Judo