Pat’s love of sport passes test

LISMORE sporting identity Pat Leadbeatter was recently awarded his third life membership, when the Far North Coast Baseball Umpires’ Association made the 55-year-old their most recent inductee.

It follows such awards from Marist Brothers Cricket Club (1988) and Marist Brothers Baseball Club (1992) and confirms just how much Pat has done for local sport since he started playing cricket as a 15-year-old.

Born and bred in Lismore as one of seven children, Pat has a mild intellectual disability that has impeded his ability to read or write and he worked for many years at the Lismore Sheltered Workshop.

He is now a valuable member of the Lismore City Council Parks and Gardens staff and shows the same co-operative zest for life at work that he does when he is playing or umpiring sport.

Pat had to pass umpiring exams in softball and baseball by taking an oral test because he was unable to sit a written assessment.

There were no other concessions given to him to assure his accreditation.

Pat is also an avid fan of Marist Brothers Rugby League Club and almost never misses a game, often getting a lift to the games by a good mate, former Brothers club president Steve Campbell, whose late brother David had worked with Pat at the Sheltered Workshop.

Everyone who knows Pat has the utmost respect for him because of his wonderful friendly nature, his magical smile and his willingness to give more of himself than would be expected from anyone.

Life memberships confirm immortality in an organisation and three such awards is some way towards the enormous vote of thanks that many people in cricket, baseball and softball would endorse to a truly unique individual and one of nature’s true gentlemen.

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