Atkinson named Emerging Athlete of the Month following stellar performances in the pool


By Gracie Geddis


Young swimmer Montana Atkinson has been honoured for her outstanding performance at the recent 2023 Australian Age Swimming Championships, leading her to being named as Emerging Athlete of the Month for April.

“Sport is my everything, my happy place… I am speechless, I am so humbled and grateful to receive this award (EAOTM),” said Atkinson.

Collecting three gold medals, two silver and one bronze, Atkinson also swam her way to three new Queensland records and five personal bests.,

Her striking performances also saw her swim a time of 1:10.92 in the 100m Butterfly (S14), a qualifying time that will hopefully net her an Australian National Flippers Squad selection for 2023/2024.

Adding to her impressive list of accomplishments, the 15-year-old placed third in the 50m Butterfly at the most recent Open National Swimming Championships 2023.

Described as a roadblock, Atkinson had a seizure that left her with a brain injury and intellectually disabled, nevertheless seeing her remain focused and determined to succeed.

“Whatever challenges you face you can adjust, overcome these and thrive,” said Atkinson.

Atkinson draws inspiration from fellow swimmer Shayna Jack’s comeback, which has given her the “inspiration and courage to keep fighting and chasing my (Atkinson) dreams”.

Out of the pool, Atkinson dedicates her time to volunteering and making a positive impact on the community. She finds that by volunteering and giving back to the community alongside Variety QLD’s “Come n try sports days” humbles her and inspires her to “make a difference in one child’s life who is the same as me”.

Furthering this, Atkinson wants “more inclusivity and to raise public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with a disability”.

The Harvey Norman Brand Ambassador, she also swam over 368km in one month, raising $568 for the Brainwaves Kilm Swim Challenge that provides essential therapy and equipment to children in need.

Following her aspirations to be selected to  the Swimming Australia National Flipper 23/24 team, Atkinson is excited to use the prize money towards 1:1 training with her coach, that will drive her forward on her dreams of competing at the 2026 Commonwealth Games and beyond.



Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) has a focus on supporting emerging talent and celebrating the next generation of Australian sport stars.

Over the course of 2023, an athlete will be recognised each month as the Commonwealth Games Australia emerging athlete of the month and will receive a $500 gift certificate as a contribution towards their training expenses.

Three finalists from the monthly winners will be invited to the 2024 Commonwealth Games Australia Presidents Function where one will be named the Commonwealth Games Australia Emerging Athlete of the Year.

The annual winner, selected by the Awards Sub Committee will receive a $5000 CGA scholarship toward their sporting career.



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