Oscar Stubbs started Kindergarten at Norwest in 2006 when the College was known as Coverdale Christian College.
Since graduating in 2018, his sole focus has been on his sporting career. He recently returned from the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham where he swam as part of the Australian Dolphins team. Oscar has also represented Australia in soccer and cricket, most recently receiving his ‘Baggy Green’ when playing for Australia in the International Inclusion Series against New Zealand. He has also celebrated success playing tennis for NSW and AFL for St Kilda. Oscar was recently drafted to the Western Bulldogs and selected to play in the All Stars.
He has been privileged to be supported by The Sports Australia Hall Of Fame, Cricket Australia, Cricket NSW, The Kurt Fearnley Scholarship Program, Blind Sports NSW, Blind Sports Australia and Variety NSW, all who have helped Oscar achieve his goals. Oscar believes that athlete support is crucial while you are working towards your dreams.
There are so many things Oscar loves about what he does. He believes representing your country is an honour & does so with pride and respect. “Being part of a team, even when you are participating in an individual sport, is something that I love. Being surrounded by people that are working with you towards the same goal and knowing they are going to lift you and support you regardless of the outcome is so good. The bonds and friendships that you create are amazing as well. I have also been able to travel all over Australia and even the world thanks to sport. The hardest part about what I do would be the 4am alarm that gets me up for training.”
There have been so many staff members that have influenced Oscar during his time at the College. Mrs Paynter was with Oscar throughout both Primary and Secondary Years and he states that “I can't remember school without her. She guided me, mentored me, educated me and disciplined me. She taught me so much more than just legal studies! Mrs Paynter is a person that I look up too, and she always made me feel safe and trusted, she was someone I knew I could go to for any reason at all.”
Oscar also acknowledges Mr Thomas, who was always engaged in his sporting pathways and understood the level of commitment it took to reach his goals. “He always encouraged me and I felt he was invested in what I was trying to achieve.”
“Mrs Raukema understood me more than I even realised at the time. Because she had a disability like me, she understood the adaptions I needed and was able to connect with me on another level. She taught me that it really was ok to ask for help.”
And finally Mrs Payne, “she is one of the greatest teachers there is. She encouraged me to love English even though it wasn’t something I enjoyed. She not only believed in me, she helped me believe in myself and taught me that failing is something we all do and can learn from.”
Norwest played an important role in helping Oscar pursue his purpose and achieve his dreams, "Norwest taught me perseverance which is one of the most important things required to be an athlete. It also created a safe space for me to be myself and build friendships that were always supportive and remain supportive of the differences I face with a disability.”
When asked if there was a story that would illustrate the “heart” of Norwest, Oscar’s response was, “I had a lot going on in Year 12 and was travelling quite often, so much so that I actually did part of my HSC in another state. I had been selected as the NSW captain for School Sport Swimming nationals in Hobart and qualified for the Para Pan Pacs in Cairns as well as selected in the Australian Football team to travel to Malaysia all in a short period of time. I remember standing in the quad with Mr Laffin and he told me that all I needed to do was focus on my goals and he would be the buoyancy I needed to successfully finish Year 12. He could understand what I was aiming to achieve and wanted to give me the support to do it.”
Oscar’s advice for current students is “no matter how crazy people might think your dreams are, never doubt your ability to fulfil them.”
Oscar’s plan for the future is to continue to follow his sporting dreams but also being a mentor for other kids, especially those with a disability. “I feel privileged that sport has given me a platform to be able to show others that anything is possible if you work hard. I want to use that platform to raise awareness for disability with others.”