Brenton Ponza

In 2016 when Brenton was inducted as a Spartan at the 2016 Annual General Meeting, he was 18 years old and Vice-Captain at Glenallen School Glen Waverley. He also attended the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre in Glen Waverley. He is an enthusiastic participant in a number of sports including running, swimming, bowling and hockey. 2016 was the tenth time he completed one of the shorter events associated with the Melbourne Marathon Festival.

2024 Update

We not long ago received an update on Brenton’s recent achievements.

  • Brenton was presented with his 15 year Spartan singlet. See photos below of the 2023 AGM..
  • Shine on Rotary Award for City of Manningham for his volunteering.
  • Boroondara Youth Award for his volunteering at Boroondara sports complex as a gymnastics coach.
  • Started 2024 – Australia Day Brenton was presented with 2024 Citizen of the Year for the City Of Boroondara – so amazing for Brenton.
  • He is a CP Achieve Advisor where he provides feedback to Researchers about how to include people with cerebral palsy using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). This is a paid position so Brenton is loving that his voice is being heard and being remunerated for this. From this he and his team called, ‘One Group, Our Voice’, had a paper written which was accepted into a journal so now he is a co- author – this is a BIG achievement. Here is the full article and plain English video explaining it.
  • He has a paid job at Melbourne Uni for 7 weeks in a project called “MAKING SPACE’ – where he is working alongside a 3rd year Architecture student on their own project about designing an accessible medical centre at Melbourne Uni.
  • On top of this he is volunteering on Tuesdays at RSPCA in the Laundry, at Collingwood Animal Farm in the workshop and attends Kevin Heinz garden centre
  • YDNA a creative Arts school where he participates in Animation and creating a BLOG page about visiting the community and writing about its accessibility. He is also part of a program called AIRSTICKS where he is learning how to move his body to music, hoping to perform to an audience
  • He volunteers and coaches at Boroondara Sports Club in a mainstream group and an additional group on a Saturday – he was employed to be an assistant floor manager at the Victorian Gymnastics Championship in Geelong.
  • He is still attending Special Olympics Bowling once a month.


The photo above shows Brenton at the Australia Day Citizen of the Year award.

At right, Brenton with parents Helen and Elvio at the 2024 Boroondara Youth Award presentation.

Brenton Ponza, 15 Year Singlet

Brenton is the first Honorary Spartan to have 14 finishes and therefore was presented with a 15 year singlet at the 2023 Annual General Meeting. He duly completed the 2023 event.

Brenton with guest speaker David Eadie

Brenton with president Jay Fleming

Before the 2022 event.

After the 2022 event. Triumph!

Brenton prepared this document for us in 2019. It shows photographs of Brenton from his early Marathon Festival days, and at the end it has a link to Brenton’s appearance on the ABC’s Gardening Show.

Brenton also features in this video created before the 2016 Melbourne Marathon Festival.

A group photo of CPEC participants before the 2010 event. Brenton is standing second from right in the middle row. His sister Vanessa is to his right. Spartans in the picture are Jane Sturzaker, Judy Wines, Grayson Summers, John Dobson and Peter Battrick.

Brenton with brother Matthew and sister Vanessa showing their finishing medals in 2007.

The picture at right of Brenton collecting donations is a reminder that CPEC is the official charity of the Melbourne Marathon. Follow this link if you’d like to donate.

CPEC friends and families support the Marathon Festival by providing volunteers on race day. About a dozen Ponza family and friends man drinks stations arriving at 4am.

Brenton collecting donations before the 2013 event.

Brenton competing in the 2014 event.

Brenton with his Dad Elvio.

A family affair, 2012: Matthew, Helen, Brenton, and Vanessa. Vanessa has walked with Brenton every year.

Finishing on the MCG, 2015. What could be better!

Brenton is a keen ten pin bowler who played in the Special Olympics Regional Bowling Games where he came 1st and won a Blue Ribbon. He has also won a bronze medal at the Special Olympics State Bowling games.

Helen says: We are a hockey family and Brenton’s sister Vanessa, who is now 15, was just awarded the Pierre de Coubetin Award by Hockey Victoria for all her efforts in this sport. Brenton would love to belong to a hockey team but cannot find one that will accommodate him so he practices when ever he can at Vanessa’s school hockey ground.

2017 Herald Sun Article


Brenton competing in the 2018 event.


Brenton with David Foskey, proud that they have each completed another Melbourne Marathon festival event.

2019 was Brenton’s 13th finish.

Brenton and sister Vanessa.

The scheduled, pre-Covid, date for the Melbourne Marathon Festival was October 10. Spartans were asked to wear their singlets if they trained on that day, and send us a photo.

Brenton was one of many who responded. Here he is, training indoors.

Support CPEC

Brenton has been helped to fulfil his ambitions through the work of CPEC, the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre. See their website here