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7 – 14 July 2024
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Indi Cooper

National NAIDOC Sportsperson Award Category
Indi Cooper

Indi (Indiana) Cooper is a 17 year old Wiradjuri professional multisport para-athlete from Gundagai, south-west New South Wales in the heart of Wiradjuri Country. Indi is an Australian Commonwealth track and field athlete who is living with mixed cerebral palsy effecting all four limbs as well as severe short-sightedness.  

Indi was inspired to take up athletics when she watched Isis Holt compete at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro where she won two silver medals and one bronze. Beginning her para-athletics journey after being classified T38, Indi’s first taste of success came as she won F38 long jump bronze at the 2016 School Sport Australia Track and Field Championships. Since then, it has been a meteoric rise for the young Wiradjuri sprinter and para-athlete. 

With great determination to follow her dreams, Indi competes in a wide variety of events in the T38 running category from the 100m sprint through to the 800m race, and already holds the Australian under-16 record in the T38 800m which she went on to beat by three seconds at the NSW All-Schools Carnival in 2020! Indi also holds three under-17 records in the T38 100m, 200m and 400m events. Indi has gone on to break two more national records at the Australian Athletics Championships in April 2021 and won two gold medals in the 2022 Australian Athletics Championships.  

In 2021, Indi was awarded the 2021/22 Kurt Fearnley Scholarship by Commonwealth Games Australia and the Carbine Club of NSW. This scholarship is awarded to talented young Para-sport athletes and provides mentorship and support for the next generation of champions. 

At her Commonwealth Games debut in 2022 in Birmingham, England, Indi reached the T38 final of the women’s 100m sprint and finished 8th. Indi was also the youngest member of the Australian athletics team at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Indi is also working towards competing at the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games which will be held in Trinidad and Tobago, later this year in August. 

As a talented, skilled, and hardworking young star, Indi commits to six running sessions and three gym sessions per week – including three sessions in Canberra at the Australian Institute of Sport! This involves 12 hours of driving for mum Hope (thank you Mum!). Outside of athletics, Indi also enjoys playing soccer and league tag. Indi has been attending the Para-Matildas squad football training camps throughout the year, with the goal of making the team in order to play in the upcoming Para Asian Cup which will be played in Australia later this year. Watch this space Mob! Indi is unstoppable!


Video created by Blacklock Media.

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