National Sports Report – November 2013
The last 12 months have been another exciting period in the world of short statured sport. We have continued to strengthen ties with peak sporting bodies such as Boccia Australia and Badminton Victoria and more opportunities are becoming available more regularly for athletes with dwarfism.
Over the next 12 months, it is my hope that these links with peak sporting bodies will continue to grow and the range of sports that short statured athletes can compete in will continue to grow and become more readily available. In the next 12 months it is also my hope that we will be able to really build the junior sporting opportunities within the SSPA, not only to create future state and national athletes but to promote active lifestyles for our kids which we all know is so important.
2013 World Dwarf Games
The World Dwarf Games have in many ways dominated the year in SSPA sport and the SSPA allowing the focus to switch to the games team this year has allowed for the team to return home full of pride at a job well done.
The 2013 World Dwarf Games were held at Michigan State University from August 3-10. Team Australia once again arrived in the village being the talk of the town, a situation that although distracting also humbling. From the outset of the games it was clear that the external pressures would not effect the goals set out by the team as Team Australia got off to a tremendous start to the week at the athletics on day 1 of competition. There were several outstanding performances on the opening day in both track and field. The men’s and women’s relay teams capped off the great day on the track with gold in both events in World Record times. In the field, Claire Keefer, Ashleigh Hutchins, Kobie Donovan and Rohan Bright all shone.
The week seemed to roll on from there for the Aussies, with stars new and old emerging in the pool, our boccia triples teams coming away with gold against the world’s best and our first ever soccer team narrowly missing a medal after taking some of the highest fancied scalps. I have spent much of the past month looking back on the games trying to pin point my personal highlights. A task that seems near impossible. I think for me the team was the highlight, Team Australia went to the games together, competed together and spurred each other as well as opposition together. This togetherness was something that was talked about and admired by other countries throughout the week and is something that filled the team with a great sense of pride.
The team’s success was highlighted on the final day of competition where it was announced that Team Australia had finished 3rd on the medal tally behind Team GB and the USA with a staggering 76 medals; 43 Gold, 19 Silver and 14 Bronze. The result was a feat that the whole team was overwhelmed by and extremely proud of. Much hard work and sacrifice by the athletes, coaches and team management had all paid off.
During the closing ceremony a Most Valuable Athlete was announced for each country and it was with delight that Team Australia’s MVP was announced as Renee Kosch. Renee was a Gold medal winner at the games in the Boccia triples. She was also one of the most reliable supporters of her fellow teammates across other events. An award well deserved.
Detailed results of the games can be found at the Australian World Dwarf Games Fabebook page: www.facebook.com/wdgaustralia (You do not need a Facebook account to view the page).
On behalf of team Australia I would like to thank the teams sponsors; ClubsNSW and Sportsco, all of the coaches; Marg Daly, Tom Carney, Clyde Everard, Leon Lilly and Monica Ferry as well as team manager Robert Millard and assistant team manager Patrick Keane. All of the hard work they put in over such a long period on time ensured the success of Team Australia over at the games.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the SSPA for their ongoing support of the World Dwarf Games and Team Australia. Without the SSPA’s support sending an Australian team to compete at the World Dwarf Games would be an impossible feat. The support of the organisation is something that each and every one of the athletes is extremely grateful for.
If you would like any more information on the World Dwarf Games please do not hesitate to contact me.
National Sports Coordinator (2012-2013 Term) Short Statured People of Australia
E: [email protected]