Emerging athlete of the month – Alex Saffy


By Brad Marais


Birmingham Para-swimming silver medallist Alex Saffy is the Commonwealth Games Australia emerging athlete of the month for August.


It was an August to remember for rising Para-swimming star Alex Saffy winning a silver medal in the Men’s 100m Butterfly S10 at his debut Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

His sterling silver swim at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games was another key milestone in the flourishing career of the 16-year-old.

“Standing on the podium in Birmingham was a dream come true,” Saffy said.

“Finishing my 100m fly and being among my two teammates, Will Martin and Col Pearse was amazing.”

Born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Alex and his family moved to Bunbury, Western Australia where he spent his childhood “around the water”.

In fact, it was Alex’s sister who was the driving force for him to take the plunge and “join in” swimming.



Saffy, who has dyskinetic cerebral palsy, used to swim in able-bodied competitions, but as his symptoms progressed, he was regularly disqualified and encouraged to take up Para-swimming, a decision that is bearing fruit for the aptly nicknamed ‘Bunbury Bullet’.

In the last twelve months, the teenager was awarded the Wally Foreman Foundation Scholarship, a scholarship named in honour of famed Western Australian sports broadcaster Wally Foreman to help rising sports stars in WA, but it was in the pool in Portugal where the youngster made a splash.

In June, Alex made his first international debut at the Para World Championships in Portugal, where the youngster took home his first international medal claiming bronze in the Men’s 100m Butterfly S10.

The medal provided solace after a tough 2021 where despite qualifying for the Tokyo Paralympics, Alex wasn’t able to secure the necessary international classification to compete.

A decision that only increased Alex’s determination towards making the Australian Commonwealth Games Team for Birmingham.

“It was a goal of mine since I was a little kid to represent my country at a Commonwealth Games,” Saffy said.

“So, for it to come true at such a young age felt surreal.”


Alex Saffy and Col Pearse celebrate their medal winning performances in Birmingham.


Wearing the green and gold in Birmingham, has only motivated Alex for more, with the teenager now setting his sights set on winning gold at the Paris 2024 Paralympics.

But for now, the emerging athlete is “taking things year by year” and having “trust in the process”.

A truly deserving recipient of August’s award.

Commonwealth Games Australia congratulates Alex on a successful Birmingham campaign.

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

Over the course of 2022, 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 2023 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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