Profile:

Catherine Huggett

Date of Birth:

6 May 1970

Place of Birth:

Canberra

Inducted:

20 May 1999

Catherine Huggett represented Queensland and Australia from 1988 - 1993 in the sport of swimming.

Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at birth it was later discovered that Catherine's disability was Spina Bifida. Encouraged by coach and director of Gold Coast Recreation and Sport, Anna-Louise Kassulke and swim coach Denis Cotterell, Catherine began to carve out a sporting career destined for international success.

Catherine racked up thousands of laps in the pool alongside her able bodied training partners at Miami swim club. Her efforts were soon rewarded when she triumphed at the Westfield Challenge in Sydney in 1988. She won ten gold medals from ten events smashing a World Record along the way.

In the same year Catherine was selected to compete for her country at the Seoul Paralympics winning a silver medal in the 100m backstroke. In 1989 at the Robin Hood Cerebral Palsy Games in England Catherine continued her international medal haul with six gold and one silver in the pool.

And in 1989, Catherine won the Queensland Disabled Athlete of the Year Award.

Then in 1990, the National Swimming Championships in Melbourne included disabled athletes in the program for the first time. Catherine struck gold at this event and later that year claimed 1 gold and 3 bronze medals at the World Championships for the disabled at Assen in Holland.

Armed with a Queensland Academy of Sport scholarship Catherine had the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics in her sights. As member of the 4 x 50m freestyle relay team she won gold in World Record time.

In 1993 Catherine won her fourth Gold Coast Disabled Athlete of the Year award and was honoured with the Order of Australia Medal for her services to sport.