FRIDAY marks a very important chapter in the Sunshine Coast Sports Federation's history, hosting the Rio Paralympians' welcome home at the Mooloolaba Surf Club.
Los Angles Olympians Grant and Hayden Kenny, Rick Finch, Russell Sherwell and Julian Muspratt were the first to be welcomed home in 1984 and the Coast has welcomed home its athletes every Olympics since by their friends, family, the Federation and the general public.
In Sydney 2000 the Paralympians were added to the honour of an official welcome Home.
Maroochy Council, now Sunshine Coast Council, has been great supporters of this campaign.
Mayor Mark Jamieson will again present plaques to the 15 locals who did our region, state and country proud in their Rio adventure.
Yes, some of the athletes will bring home medals, some won't, but all will have lasting memories of their time in 2016.
These Paralympics have been the best yet for Coast athletes, in Swimming, Cycling and Rowing.
Seven represent the newest Coast swimming club, the USC Spartans, Cyclist Kyle Bridgwood who is presently the Uni's Sport Star of the Year.
Rower Gavin Bellis comes from Tin Can bay, and trains at the Gold Coast Institute of Sport. Very importantly, the rest of the squad - including coaches and sports scientists - are all playing their role in the success.
Sadly the only person who won't be there, is Uni Professor and former gold medallist Brendan Burkett. He alone has done a fantastic job for both Para Swimming and the University, he also carried the Aussie Flag into the Stadium in Sydney.
Every athlete is sure to have a great story to tell.
Friday's ceremony starts at 4.30pm and everyone is welcome to join in the celebration.
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