Newcastle paratriathlete Lauren Parker has capped off a strong competition season by completing a double in the NSW Champions of Sport and NSW Institute of Sport awards.
Parker made NSWIS history on November 14 when won the Ian Thorpe AM Outstanding Achievement Award for a second consecutive year then followed it up on November 18 by claiming back-to-back honours in the champions of sport ceremony. Both awards ceremonies were staged in Sydney.
In 2019, Parker won the world and oceania paratriathlon titles as she builds towards a first Paralympic campaign at Tokyo 2020.
After a number of podium performances at various world cup and world series events, Parker finished the season by achieving her ultimate goal for the year, winning gold at the world championships.
"That's the race I've been training towards for 12 months or more, I couldn't be more happy," Parker said.
"I had so many thoughts running through my head when I crossed the line.
"What it took me to get there, what I had to go through, all the spinal cord surgeries that I've been through, just my journey."
Since her tragic training accident in 2017 that left her paralysed, the 30-year-old has overcome numerous surgeries and setbacks in pursuit of her competitive ambitions.
Her incredible courage and commitment were once again acknowledged through the NSWIS outstanding achievement award, however a humble Parker was thankful to the team around her.
"NSWIS has definitely backed me for the last 18 months and to have them on board to support me, I couldn't feel any more proud to be a part of NSWIS," Parker said after accepting the outstanding achievement award.
"They've helped me out with my equipment, my bike, my racing chair, rollers, funding.
"Without that I definitely wouldn't have achieved what I've achieved."
Looking ahead to 2020, the world champion has her eyes on the next major goal.
"I've got a really big year ahead with the Paralympics in my sights," she said.
"I'm hoping to get the best preparation I've ever had and there's only one goal ... and that's the gold medal."