HAWKESBURY cricketers Oscar Stubbs and Michael Gillies have been named in the NSW team to play in the National Disability Inclusion Championships in January.
Gillies was named captain of the team NSW team last year, but Stubbs, who plays for Bligh Park is a new face in the team.
Stubbs,17, has impaired vision, and while he is certainly not blind, has much more restricted vision than most.
“Being born with a visual impairment is something I have just dealt with and most people wouldn't realise that my eyes work differently to theirs,” Stubbs said of his condition.
Stubbs is a pretty good athlete. He also attends national level swimming meets, and recently broke four NSW records Australian Short Course Swimming Championships, where he competed against other para-athletes.
Stubbs said the decision to become a multi-class athlete, and qualify for the team was for a number of reasons.
“I have always loved playing cricket, but batting can be challenging for me,” Stubbs said.
“I've never wanted to be treated differently and I wanted to be able to achieve the best I can as an able bodied athlete, which I think I have done well.
“One of the greatest opportunities has been to be surrounded by people who see the world a little differently like I do.”
Meanwhile, Stubbs’ captain in the NSW team, Michael Gillies said he was happy because he played a small part in seeing Stubbs selected, after having a chat with him about his experience playing in the team.
“I am excited about it,” he said of Stubbs joining him in the team.
Gillies, who plays cricket with Richmond, said he had also joined up with the Lend a Hand to Hugo Foundation, which assists families who have children on the Autism spectrum.
“I’ll be travelling around NSW to create awareness about people like myself and others, basically just help people in NSW where we can,” Gillies, who will be an ambassador with the foundation, said.
As part of his role, Gillies said he had teamed up with local business Blue Tongue Sports, and they would raise money by selling special cricket grips.
As for the January’s tournament, Gillies said he was over the moon to not only be selected but also picked as captain of the team again.