CONTESTANT: Bangalow's Lisa Parkes going through her paces on Australian Ninja Warrior 2017.
CONTESTANT: Bangalow's Lisa Parkes going through her paces on Australian Ninja Warrior 2017.

Who are our Australian Ninja Warriors this year?

THREE Northern Rivers residents have signed up for this year's season of Channel nine's Australian Ninja Warrior.

The ultimate goal remains the same: conquer the Mount Midoriyama.

It took seven seasons in the USA, remains unconquered in the UK, and now the challenge is on for the second season here in Australia.

But to even get close, Ninjas will have to take on some 38 obstacles that stand in their way.

With 300 Ninjas, the series will include an extra heat, an extra semi-final, and a two-part grand final standing between the start line and the title of Australia's first Ninja Warrior, with the jackpot prize money going up to $200,000.

Of last year's Ninjas 90 per cent have applied for Season 2, with nearly 100 Ninjas making it through the try-outs.

LISA PARKES

Bangalow firtness professional Lisa Parkes is back on Australian Ninja Warrior 2018.
Bangalow firtness professional Lisa Parkes is back on Australian Ninja Warrior 2018. Stuart Bryce
  • Returning Ninja
  • Age: 44
  • Occupation: Fitness professional
  • Lives: Bangalow
  • Height: 151cm
  • Weight: 46kg

It's been a big year for Lisa Parkes since appearing on Australian Ninja Warrior Season One, as she experienced the breakdown of her marriage and is now a single mum of Liam, 18, Diallo, 7 and Kailani, 3.

Despite this Parkes said she is feeling stronger and more positive than ever.

She could not wait to have another attempt at the world's toughest obstacle course.

Parkes was in a very different head-space for Ninja this year, having harnessed all her recent emotional challenges to give her extra strength to tackle the course again with a renewed energy.

The athlete was overwhelmed by the response to her appearance on ANW and has since done a lot of work with people with spinal injuries, obviously inspired by Lisa's story of having worked her way back through lengthy rehab from a serious car accident that left her with little hope of walking again.

Parles proved everybody wrong, crediting the power of the mind for her recovery, alongside her physical rehab.

Recently, she has become particularly close to young mum Samantha Bulmer, who became a quadriplegic after a pregnancy complication.

The Ninja Warrior contestant has been helping Sam with her recovery both mentally and physically, visiting her in hospital to train and helping to fundraise for Sam's future with daughter River and family.
journeys.

The athlete has since opened up her very own Ninja Play Academy gym in Byron Bay, to facilitate others' fitness journeys.

TOM HAZELL

East Lismore local Tom Hazel participated in the television show Ninja Warrior on Channel 9.
East Lismore local Tom Hazel participated in the television show Ninja Warrior on Channel 9. Marc Stapelberg

 

  • Returning Ninja
  • Age:31
  • Occupation: Truck driver
  • Lives: East Lismore
  • Height: 173cm
  • Weight: 75kg

Having fallen on the Jump to Cargo Net in last year's grand final, truckie Tom Hazell has made it his mission to ensure the same fate doesn't befall him this year: he has a score to settle.

As part of the Shed Crew that train out of Tom's self-crafted Ninja Warrior training shed, he has amped up the simulation to include a custom-made net with back lighting, to simulate the cameras and lights of the set.

With partner Katie and step-daughter Lily by his side, the family has added another mini-cheer leader with the arrival of baby daughter Ava.

 

FRED DORRINGTON

Former Lismore resident Fred Dorrington is back on Australian Ninja Warrior 2018.
Former Lismore resident Fred Dorrington is back on Australian Ninja Warrior 2018.
  • Returning Ninja
  • Age: 28
  • Occupation: Climbing instructor and gym maintenance
  • Lives: Brisbane, Qld
  • Height: 183cm
  • Weight: 75kg
  • Ninja Nickname: Just Fred

Fred Dorrington has a lot to prove this year.

Having made it furthest fastest - he made it to the second stage of the grand finals last year and failed on the unstable bridge - he's back, and more determined to get further still.

Fred recently moved from Lismore to Brisbane, but all his family still lives on the Northern Rivers.

He was overcoming a recent wrist fracture sustained whilst snowboarding, but nothing could stop him from giving the Ninja Warrior course another crack.

The accident was a setback, not just physically but mentally as well, but Fred has pushed through and focused on legs, core and balance - he's determined not to let it hold him back.

A former full-time carpenter, Fred and was now combining his skill-set and passions by working at his local rock climbing gym, Urban Climb, doing maintenance and climb instructing.

His dream was to open his own Ninja-inspired gym - but for now he'll settle on 'playing' on the official course on Ninja Island.

  • The 2018 season of Australian Ninja Warrior starts this Sunday, July 8, from 7pm on Channel Nine.


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