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Madeleine ‘Maddie’ McTernan was awarded a Tier 2 Scholarship within the 2022 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program.

Maddie was born on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, where she first discovered her love of the water. From 2016 she has lived on the Gold Coast.

In 2008, during her early primary school years, Maddie struggled with learning difficulties and was diagnosed with an intellectual impairment, autism, anxiety and ADHD. This lead to a para classification of S14, intellectual impairment.

Maddie had always enjoyed swimming for fun once a week until the age of 13 (2013) when she decided to join Coffs Harbour Swimming Club. Eugene Brogmus was her first coach and taught her all four strokes to perfection.

In 2014, Maddie entered her first big competition, the NSW M/C Championships. She had a rapid rise to her first Australian Age Nationals and was winning medals by 2015.

In 2016, Maddie won her first Open National Medal and shortly after this feat, her and her family moved to the Gold Coast. This was a key factor for Maddie to achieve her dream, to represent Australia in swimming.

In 2019, Maddie made her first Australian team. This team headed to the World Para Swimming Championships in London and she placed fifth in the S14 100m backstroke.

In 2020, Maddie won her first international gold medal, the 200m freestyle at the World Para Series in Melbourne.

In 2021, Maddie made her dream come true when she represented Australia at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. She won a silver medal in the mixed relay and placed fourth in the 100m backstroke. That same year Maddie was ranked #4 for international seniors and #1 for national seniors.

Maddie aspires to represent her country for many years to come, be an ambassador for sport and help kids with disabilities achieve and believe in their dream to succeed in sport. She would also like to continue to volunteer her time at Riding for the Disabled.

“I am so grateful and feel honoured with the news of receiving the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship. To be recognised for my swimming amongst other incredible athletes is amazing. This Scholarship will help me succeed my goal to keep representing Australia for many years to come. I am still so thrilled to be a Scholarship Holder with so many talented Australian sporting heroes.” – Maddie McTernan on being selected as a 2022 Tier 2 Scholarship Holder.

“Training hard, never give up, dream, believe, achieve.”


  • 2019: INAS Global Games – gold, 4 x 200m freestyle relay and world record
  • 2019: INAS Global Games – gold, 4 x 50m freestyle relay
  • 2019: World Para Swimming Championships – 5th, 100m backstroke
  • 2020: World Para Series – gold in the 200m freestyle women’s open multi-class event
  • 2020: Hancock Prospecting Australian Virtual State Championships – 1st and world record, 400m short course
  • 2020 (2021): Tokyo Paralympic Games – silver, mixed 4x100m relay
  • 2020 (2021): Tokyo Paralympic Games – 4th, 100m backstroke
  • 2021: Australian Age Swimming Championships – gold, 200m freestyle
  • 2021: Australian Age Swimming Championships – gold, 50m backstroke
  • 2021: Australian Age Swimming Championships – bronze 100m backstroke


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Bio picture credit Swimming Australia


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