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Sporting Achievements – Oscar S

Sporting Achievements - Oscar S

Oscar S has long been involved in sport during his time both inside and outside of Norwest Christian College. He holds many able-bodied sporting records and takes any opportunity he can find to represent the College through sport. However, in the last year, his HSC year, where many students choose to take a step back from sporting representation, Oscar has instead been more involved than ever. He even made an appearance on the Channel Ten news recently whilst involved in a swimming meet in the middle of his exams. Oscar became a recognised Para-athlete at the end of 2017 and this has enabled him to qualify for national level competition in Swimming, Athletics, Cricket and Soccer.

Oscar has been diagnosed with optic neuropathy and congenital sensory nystagmus, which means the brain is not receiving messages from the optic nerve. Due to this, he has no peripheral vision and his eyes struggle in situations of varying light. He also has tunnel vision, which amounts to approximately 15% in each eye. So when competing against the average able-bodied athlete Oscar has a distinct disadvantage. He often cannot see the wall when he swims, see the athletic lines when he is running, he struggles to track a ball once its moving and cannot read the scoreboard to see his time or placing. In school, its takes him longer to do things because his eyes tire very easily. He reads from a strong bold font and different types of lighting make it impossible for his eyes to be able to do what he needs.

Despite having this visual impairment Oscar only decided to pursue sport using the para-pathway in September last year and this has opened up further opportunities for him. Future participation in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics or Football World Cup has now become a real possibility. On top of his swim training, before and after school, he has travelled to Victoria for swimming during his HSC exams, Malaysia for a football training camp and also other parts of the country for various sporting competitions. He now competes against other visually impaired athletes but due to his unique condition and class he is often actually just competing against the current world record.

His sporting achievements are many but some of his more prestigious results include; being named NSW Team Captain for Nationals School Swimming, being selected as a striker in the Australian VI Football Team and scoring multiple goals in a three game tour of Malaysia, being selected to swim at the Para Pan Pacific Championships and qualifying for the Australian Para Team, playing cricket for the undefeated NSW Blind Cricket Team and qualifying for the Australian Junior Athletic Championships. He has broken multiple records held by para-athletes in both swimming and athletics at all levels, including State, CIS, All Schools and Nationals, as well as some able-bodied records.

Whilst for many HSC students they now face an anxious wait for their results to be released and university offers to come in, Oscar will instead continue diving into the pool and training to improve his sporting performance. Oscar has shown that despite the adversity of his visual impairment with hard work you can persevere and succeed in all that you put your mind to. As a College we are very proud of all that Oscar has achieved and know that he has a big future ahead. We hope that in the near future we will read more of his sporting accolades and see him televised in competition.

Ben Thomas
Director of Sport

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