Australian Paratriathlete Tony Scoleri
From a very young age Tony Scoleri was involved in sports. In his birth country of New Caledonia, he competed in athletics as a part of the French National School Sports Union (Union Nationale du Sport Scolaire, UNSS). He was racing from 110m hurdles to 5,000m and 10,000m events. While in his teenage years in the early 90s, he moved on to cycling, both road and track competitions. The year 1995 was a very successful season for him winning the National title for the Points Race on track and an overall 4th place in the road cycling events at the Oceania Championships in Tahiti.
Tony then moved to Australia to carry out his University studies in Mathematics and Computer Science. In 2002, he started a PhD in 3-D computer vision and also resumed his sporting activities, but this time he joined triathlon. Success came quickly, and from 2003 to 2005, Tony won all major championships in Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons and duathlons in South Australia. As he was completing his PhD research, he dreamt of representing Australia at the triathlon world championships and also getting into the Ironman distance.
One morning though, Tony was involved in a near fatal accident when a passenger of a car opened their door as Tony was riding past. Suddenly in a split second, everything stopped: PhD, triathlon, dreams. This was in the early months of 2007. Life took him on a different road, paced with intensive rehabilitation and personal challenges. Through perseverance, he graduated with a PhD at the end of 2008. Almost a decade later and left with a right arm disability, Tony has come back into triathlon with passion and a feeling of 'incomplete business' with the sport. He competes in the PT4 class which includes athletes with below-elbow amputee, below-knee amputee or equivalent level of disability arising from the loss of strength and range of movement.
In 2014, Tony has won the Oceania Games, Australian National Paratriathlon and Paraduathlon titles in his classification. He also realised his dream of representing Australia at the World Championships. In 2015, his most significant achievement was to win the World Paraduathlon Championship. The highlights for 2016-2017 were brought by new experiences and challenges with his disability to compete in half Ironman events, which he did with flying colours by setting two new course records at Ballarat and Cairns. Having also fulfilled a lifelong dream of completing a full Ironman, Tony will race again in sprint distances in 2018. He hopes that his sporting journey will inspire others to pursue their own goals.
Competing at the elite level requires top-end training and racing equipment, access to facilities, coaching and several domestic and international travels. If you would like to help or discuss sponsorship opportunities, please email me or donate below. Thank you.