Josh, 17, aims for London
CASINO High School student Josh Blunt isn’t going to let an intellectual disability get in the way of his enjoyment.
The 17-year-old had never played in any basketball competition before representing NSW Country in the Ivor Burge National Championships at Gawler, near Adelaide, last week.
The championships, conducted every year for people with an intellectual disability, commemorate Ivor Burge’s contribution to basketball in Australia.
With Josh’s only experience being at school at lunch time, he headed to Sydney for the try-outs.
“I was selected,” he said.
“I went to the Central Coast for two training camps.
“In Gawler, I played in the Country men’s all-age side; we had some 35- and 40-year-olds as well.
“That was the first time I’ve played on a court; I played centre, and had to block shots from the other team.
“My goal is to play in the 2012 Special Olympics in London.
“I’m learning pretty quickly and I think I’ll be good enough to get there.
“I learnt a lot from the other players in Gawler but to help me with training, I’ll be joining a Lismore team.”
Special education teacher Jo Rucker said Josh had done well, scoring 26 points in the tournament – a good result.
“He’s gone down there, played well and enjoyed himself,” she said.
“It doesn’t get much better than that. He scored 26 points for the tournament and helped the team to finish fifth.
“Josh has commitment and he more than likely will go to London in 2012, but he has a lot of work to do between now and then.”