Sports stars lauded at awards
TRIO AMONG WINNERS AT CEREMONY
SWIMMER Tim Disken and basketballer Patrick Lane have taken out the Waverley Leader Sports Star awards for 2013.
Disken accepted the Junior Sports Star award from MC Stephen Quartermain at a ceremony at Etihad Stadium last week.
The 17-year-old has cerebral palsy and, earlier this month, qualified for international classification as a swimmer with a disability.
He is part of the Australian Paralympic Development Squad for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics, and was invited to a training camp with the senior squad in January.
The Glen Waverley teenager, who balances sport with his role as a school captain at Glenallen School, said winning the award felt “pretty special”.
Disken said he would use the $300 Sportsmart voucher he won to buy compression gear for his trip to Brisbane next month to compete in the open nationals.
Lane, who is recovering from his second cochlear implant, only found out the following morning that he’d won the Senior Sports Star award.
“I honestly can’t believe it. I wasn’t expecting to win such an award, especially when there are many other amazing athletics out there worthy of the award,” Lane told the Leader by email.
“It’s such a shame I could not be there.”
The 24-year-old was born with enlarged vestibular aqueduct syndrome in both ears, and gradually became severe to profoundly deaf.
Lane, who previously played football and soccer, tried out for the Australian Men’s Deaf Basketball team in August 2012.
“Despite my poor basketball skills at the time, they saw I had determination and the ability to learn well, which, fortunately, gave me the opportunity to be a part of the squad,” Lane said.
Last year, Lane competed at the Deaflympics in Bulgaria, where Australia placed 10th out of the 13 qualifying countries.
Lane said the team learnt a lot from the experience, particularly from the US team.
“We were the youngest team, with an average age of 21,” Lane said.
“Being such a young team, we took the experience as a unique opportunity to learn from the very experienced older players.”
Lane, who is completing his final year at Monash University, said he hoped to combine a career in industrial design with basketball and volunteering as a mentor for deaf teenagers.
Glen Waverley teenager Alice Wu won the Overall Encouragement Award for the Eastern division.
Last year, Wu was one of the youngest players to compete in an international badminton tournament in an Under-19s team.