Ari Gesini has been a successful recipient of a Tier 1 Scholarship within the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship & Mentoring Program and paired with SAHOF Member and the most capped Wallaby in Australian Rugby history, George Gregan as his Mentor.
Ari began athletics when he was five years old as a member of the Para Athletics Talent Squad.
He was born with mild cerebral palsy, a coordination impairment which affects his left side.
When he was thirteen, head athletics coach, Iryna Dvoskina scouted him to join her squad of Paralympic Champions, then consisting of Scott Reardon, Vanessa Low, Chad Perris and James Turner. Another one of Iryna’s athletes T38 (Ari’s Class) 100m champion and World Record holder Evan O’Hanlon, whom Ari has learned a lot from over the years.
Now training under the guidance of Head Coach Sebastian Kuzminski with some input from Dvoskina, Ari has competed in various national athletics competitions, including Junior and Senior Nationals, Track Classics, and Arafura Games.
At fourteen, Ari became one of the youngest-ever athletes to win a medal at the Senior Australian Nationals for his performance in the long jump. When he was fifteen years old, Ari was selected to represent Australia at the 2017 Junior Para Athletics Championships in Switzerland, where he won a gold medal in the T38 long jump.
In 2019 Ari, still only seventeen, competed for the first time in the Senior World Para Athletics Championships where he claimed fourth place in the T38 men’s’ long jump along with five personal bests, the largest of which – 6.16m – now stands as the all-time Oceanic record, beating his long-time squad mate Evan O’Hanlon’s mark from 2010.
Looking to the future, Ari aspires to one day break the world record for the T38 Long Jump, become the 2nd person to go over 7m and win gold at the Paralympics.
Ari speaks of his selection within the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship & Mentoring Program:
“It came as a big surprise and I couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of this program. The SAHOF scholarship has provided me with a once in lifetime opportunity to talk to a sporting legend, George Gregan, one on one, something I’ll never forget. Over the next 12 months I hope to learn as much as I possibly can from George and to gain new wisdom and skills that will help me for the rest of my life.”
Mentor George Gregan AM said:
“Ari is an impressive young man who I look forward to working with over the coming year(s). I feel privileged to be able to pass on some of my experiences, that can hopefully help Ari throughout his athletic career.”
Athletics Australia CEO, Darren Gocher:
“Athletics Australia congratulates Ari on receiving this prestigious Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program. Ari is an outstanding young talent who is achieving great things in our sport, already notching up the all-time Australian record men’s T38 long jump of 6.16m at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai. To be mentored by George Gregan is an extraordinary honour for any athlete and the athletics community is excited to see where this scholarship and mentor program will lead for Ari.”
Languages: English, French & Italian
Sport: Para Athletics
Disciplines: T38: Long Jump & 100m
First & Current Club: ACT Para Athletics Talent Squad
Started: Training: 2007, Competing: 2008
Studying: Bachelor Politics and International Relations
Hero: Usain Bolt
Pre-comp Routines: Having my favourite snack, milo, before a competition
Wearing a cap during warm up and having my music in to stay in my bubble
Changing socks during the long jump – shoes are always taken off and swapped for fresh socks after round 3
Favourite Quote: “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground” – Roosevelt
Rankings – as at Sep 2020
Senior International: 3
Senior National: 1
Junior International: 1
Junior National: 1
Awards, Honours & Achievements
- 2020 (2021): Tokyo Paralympic Games – 11th, long jump and 100m participant
- 2019: Dubai Para Athletics World Championships – Long Jump T38, 4th (5 PBs)
- 2019: Dubai Para Athletics World Championships – Long Jump T38, Australian record (at 17 years old)
- 2019: Dubai World Para Athletics Championships – 100m T38, 12th (International senior team debut, ran a PB and almost into the final)
- 2019: Arafura Games, Darwin – Long Jump, 3rd (3rd best jump and new junior record at the time)
- 2019: Arafura Games, Darwin – 4x100m mixed relay, 1st
- 2017: Junior Para Athletics World Championships, Notwill Switzerland – Long Jump, 1st (U18)
Last updated 17/09/2020