Australia’s Lisa Llorens, an accomplished Paralympic athlete, is one of three new inductees into the Inas Hall of Fame ©Inas

The International Association of Sport for Para-athletes with an Intellectual Disability (INAS) has today inducted athletes Lisa Llorens and Heidi Mackowitz, together with Professor Jennifer Mactavish, to the INAS Hall of Fame in recognition of their "outstanding contribution to the organisation".

Part of INAS' ongoing 30th anniversary celebrations, the induction was made at a celebratory event held in Paris.

Australia’s Llorens is an accomplished Paralympic athlete specialising in high jump, long jump and sprint disciplines.

She competed at the 1996 Games in Atlanta, winning gold medals in the long jump MH and bronze in the 200m MH for which she received a Medal of the Order of Australia.

Llorens also represented her country as it hosted the 2000 Games in Sydney, winning golds in the 200m T20, the high jump F20 and the long jump F20, and silver in the 100m T20.

She broke the world record three times during her four long jump attempts.

From 1998 to 2002, Llorens held an Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Athletes with a Disability athletics scholarship,

Mackowitz, meanwhile, has been a member of the Austrian national ski team since 2009 and first became Inas world champion in 2010, winning the slalom and giant slalom events. 

In 2012, she became sportswoman of the year in Austria in the category of people with a disability.

Her career was almost ended the following year, however, when she broke her femur in five places having suffered an accident during ski training on a glacier.

Heidi Mackowitz has been a member of the Austrian national ski team since 2009 ©Inas
Heidi Mackowitz has been a member of the Austrian national ski team since 2009 ©Inas

After a long struggle with learning how to walk properly again, as well as a lengthy stretch of physiotherapy and training, Mackowitz made it back on to the slopes this year.

She conquered her fear of the sport she practices and took second and third-place finishes at the Inas World Skiing Championship in Poland.

Inas describes Canada’s Mactavish as being instrumental in the work of inclusion of athletes with an intellectual disability in the sporting community, from local to international level, for many years.

"Early in her career, she became aware of the systemic barriers that individuals with an intellectual disability faced and decided her opportunity for the most significant contribution would be to learn more about what individuals with disability and their families required to improve their lives, and then bring that understanding to the training of young professionals who would work in the agencies and organisations that serve them," a statement read.

"Her greatest contribution came as part of the joint Inas/IPC (International Paralympic Committee) group that sought to establish classification procedures to enable athletes with an intellectual disability to compete again in Paralympic sport.

"Jennifer has never wavered in her pursuit of equal opportunities to those with a disability, in particular intellectual disability.

"And no-one else in Canada has done more to ensure that those opportunities are there for Inas athletes."

Inas President Amaury Russo congratulated the three new inductees.

"It is a great honour to recognise such fantastic performances, particularly in this our 30th anniversary year," he said. 

"On behalf of everybody at Inas, we welcome Lisa, Heidi and Jennifer to the Inas Hall of Fame and thank them for their lifetime contribution."