Friday, July 5, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Izabella Wills Shines at Olympic Para Trials: A Rising Star in Mackay Cyclones

Fifteen-year-old Mackay Cyclones multiclass athlete Izabella Wills has wrapped up an impressive campaign at the Olympic para trials, showcasing her talent and determination on a national stage.
Izabella achieved 11th place overall in the 100m freestyle and 10th in the 100m backstroke, competing against some of the nation’s top athletes. Remarkably, she secured a spot in the B Final, swimming at 9:55 pm when most teenagers her age are already in bed. Her dedication paid off as she achieved personal bests in every event.
Izabella is riding high on this wave of success, along with her coach, Leigh-Anne Pokarier. The duo were selected to attend the Hancock Prospecting Para Futures Development Camp on the Sunshine Coast last weekend. Leigh-Anne joined the coaching team, while Izabella has been recognised as a future para athlete by Swimming Queensland, opening new opportunities thanks to her hard work and stellar performances over the past two years.
The dream of becoming a Paralympian is gaining momentum for Izabella, who continues to strive toward her goal, making her one to watch in the Mackay Cyclones camp.
The achievements don't stop there for the Mackay Cyclones Swim Club. An impressive 27 athletes have received Junior Excellence recognition, while six higher-level athletes have earned spots in the Silver, Bronze, and Junior Development squads based on their performances last season with Swimming Queensland.
Coach Leigh-Anne Pokarier acknowledges the hard work and dedication required to achieve such success.
"It's a hard slog for everyone, and the results are well-earned and deserved," she said.
"I couldn't ask for a better team who come together and get it done."
Next on the agenda, two Cyclone members will compete at School Nationals on the Gold Coast at the end of July: Izabella Wills representing the senior school and Isabelle Daniel representing the junior school. Following that, the team will gear up for the State Short Course Championships in August.

Izabella Wills (centre) with coach Leigh-Anne Pokarier (right) at the 2024 Australian Swimming Trials

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