Cameron Leslie Finished as a Finalist for the World Sportsperson with a Disability at the Laureus Awards
Cameron Leslie (Whangarei) had the honour of attending the Laureus Awards as a nominee at the ceremony held this morning in Paris.
Leslie was nominated for the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability award following his outstanding performances in 2022, where he broke the Men's 50m Freestyle World Record twice, won a gold medal and three silver medals at the 2022 World Para Swimming Championships in Madeira. He also co-captained the Wheelblacks at the 2022 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships where he was best on court in multiple games.
Leslie was nominated alongside five other nominees, who were Diede De Groot (wheelchair tennis), Declan Farmer (para ice hockey) Jesper Saltvik Pedersen (para alpine skiing), Oksana Masters (para cross-country skiing) and Catherine Debrunner (para athletics). Debrunner received the award for her incredible performances in breaking four World Records on the athletics track and winning multiple marathons.
The Laureus Awards are one of the highest honours in sport with past winners including Lionel Messi, Max Verstappen, Roger Federer and Usain Bolt and is awarded to sportspeople across the globe for their outstanding performances in the past year. It is an incredible honour to be considered amongst some of the top athletes in the world as a nominee and we are very proud of Cameron for this achievement.
Cam reflected on his nomination.
“It’s humbling. It’s also pretty special to be able to role model to Kiwi athletes how far you can go and what can be achieved. Growing up I never saw a disabled sporting role model so I’m quite proud to be that person right now.”
Leslie has had a great start to the year winning the inaugural Future Post Rural Sportsperson with a Disability Award at the New Zealand Rural Sports Awards and claiming the International and Domestic Para Swimmer of the Year awards, as well as recently medalling at the Citi Para Swimming World Series in Singapore.
“I don’t do sport for the awards side of things but it also a heck of a way to reflect and acknowledge how epic 2022 was but also how much support and love I have around me – particularly from my family. It’s not easy and I am super appreciative of those close to me for their support.”
Swimming NZ is incredibly proud to have Leslie in our team as the Disability & Para Swimming Participation Manager where he helps to create positive swimming experiences for those with a disability. We admire the way you represent our country, sport and your whanau. Congratulation Cameron!