29938-Holly Saunders photo

Holly Saunders



Impairment information

T35, F35

Further personal information


Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began competing in athletics at state school level in 2012.
Why this sport?
"After my Fontan surgery at age eight, I developed a passion for sport. My spasticity allowed me to be classified in different sports."
Club / Team
Cherrybrook Athletics Club: Sydney, NSW, AUS

General interest

Memorable sporting achievement
Winning a bronze medal in the 100m at the 2018 Cerebral Palsy International Sport & Recreation Association [CPISRA] World Games in Barcelona, Spain. (, 01 Aug 2019; Cherrybrook Senior Athletics Facebook page, 09 Aug 2018)
Awards and honours
She was named 2017/18 Most Consistent Para Athlete by Cherrybrook Athletics Club. (Cherrybrook Senior Athletics Facebook page, 04 Jun 2018)
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (, 01 Aug 2019)
She has coronary heart disease [CHD] and Fontan circulation. She was born with tricuspid atresia, which means a heart valve is missing and has made her body take in less oxygen. She underwent heart surgery at age two. Two years later she was diagnosed with a tethered spinal cord which developed spasticity in her legs. (, 01 Jan 2018;, 23 Jan 2015)
Other information
She began developing a passion for sports after her Fontan surgery at age eight. "Previously I had spent a lot of time in a pram to get around, but after the surgery, I could be more active without getting so tired. When I was younger I played able-bodied soccer for many years but then I found it difficult to keep up with my peers. I have attended cerebral palsy [CP] football camps, Pararoo training sessions and Football 4 All Gala Days. I am looking forward to participating in female CP football squads representing Australia in the hopefully not too distant future." (, 01 Aug 2019)

In 2019 she became a teen representative of Australian and New Zealand Fontan Advocacy Committee. "I'm proud to take part In the heart community such as teen camps and fundraisers. I hope I can be there for other kids someday; someone to talk to, to help provide relief when times are tough. Knowing that you aren't the only one who has gone through your challenges makes you feel like you aren't alone, even if you aren't talking to people, it's a comforting awareness." (Australian and New Zealand Fontan Advocacy Committee - Community Facebook page, 08 Aug 2019)