Published on 25 August 2023

Onkaparinga's sporting stars

It has been a big month or two for Onkaparinga athletes, with the Matildas’ Charli Grant—who spent her school years in Woodcroft—representing Australia at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

But she’s not the only Onkaparinga athlete to have made her mark on the big stage recently.

Earlier this month, a group of BMX athletes from the Happy Valley BMX Club represented Australia at the UCI World BMX Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, with one even finishing on the podium!

It was a particularly eventful tournament for Aberfoyle Park’s Blackwell family, with siblings Penelope, Isabella and Lars all representing Australia and Happy Valley BMX Club.

Australian champion Penelope took home a silver medal in the Under 9 Girls, while older sister Isabella made it to the quarter-finals in the Under 13 Girls, and brother Lars—who was recovering from the flu—completed all his qualifying runs in the Under 8 Boys.

Penelope told Onkaparinga Now she was really happy with her achievement.

“World number two is really good, but I know I could’ve come first if I didn’t get boxed-out on the first straight [by other competitors], so I did feel a little disappointed,” she said.

“I hope I’ll get another chance in America or Denmark to ride at the world championships again.”

Sister Isabella said her results were similarly bittersweet in that she was proud to make the quarters, but had been gunning for a final and podium finish.

“It has motivated me to work hard to improve and upskill when I get back to Australia,” she said.

Lars said he was proud to complete his races in front of thousands of people, particularly when he thought he might miss out due to illness.

The Blackwells did a lot of fundraising to help get them to Glasgow, garnering support from local businesses and non-profits—including Cesar’s Pizzeria and The Original Open Market—and City of Onkaparinga Sport and Active Recreation Grants.

Happy Valley BMX Club’s Noel Adams (Cruiser Men 50+) and Will Adams (Under 9 Boys) also represented Australia at the event.

A month earlier, Maslin Beach’s Angus Hincksman (18) represented Australia at the World Para Athletics World Championships in Paris, winning a bronze medal in the Men’s 1500m T38!

Meanwhile, three-time Brisbane Lions premiership-winning player and current coach of the Collingwood Magpies—former O’Sullivan Beach/Lonsdale footballer Craig McRae—has his team in the box seat to finish the minor season on top of the ladder on the eve of the AFL finals.

Go, Onkaparinga!


Top to bottom: Lars, Penelope and Isabella Blackwell in Glasgow; Angus Hincksman celebrates his medal (photo: Paralympics Australia); Charli Grant in action against Canada during the FIFA Women's World Cup (photo: Rachel Bach / Football Australia); Collingwood Football Club coach, Craig McRae celebrates a win (photo: Collingwood Media)


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Happy Valley's Lars, Penelope and Isabella Blackwell smiling on their BMX bikes in Australian team uniforms.