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Our Golden Girl is the nation's best

NATION’S BEST: Australian gold medallist Jacqueline Freney has been named Australian Paralympian of the Year.
NATION’S BEST: Australian gold medallist Jacqueline Freney has been named Australian Paralympian of the Year. BEN STANSALL

BALLINA Shire's Golden Girl, swimmer Jacqueline Freney, was last Thursday named Australian Paralympian of the Year.

Jacqueline, from Skennars Head, also took out the Female Athlete of the Year Award at the Sydney awards ceremony.

The acknowledgement follows her eight gold medals and two world record-breaking efforts at this year's London Paralympics.

Mayor Cr David Wright said he was delighted Jacqueline received the awards.

"It just demonstrates that not only is Ballina Shire proud of her, but so is the entire nation and sporting fraternity," he said.

"Despite not having any sponsorship, Jacqueline's family ensures she meets all her social engagements and appointments. Being the most successful Paralympian at a single Games, it would be nice to see Jacqueline receive corporate sponsorship commensurate with her achievements."

Michael Freney, Jacqueline's father, when asked how Jacqueline was going, said it was en eventful few days for Jacqueline at the end of last week.

She and her mother Joanne attended a function with the Governor-General, Her Excellency Quentin Bryce, which was also attended by Prince Charles.

Australia Post also announced its release of a stamp in honour of Jacqueline's achievements.

"I half expect Australia Post Offices in Ballina Shire will be busier than usual with requests for Jacqueline's stamp," Michael said.

"I just wonder if the Australian or Perth Mint will catch on and soon release a coin; and not just any old coin, but a gold coin."


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