Ben’s bas­ket­ball dream comes true

Tweed Daily News - - LIFE - — LAURA NEL­SON

WHEN Ben Steinhardt takes to the bas­ket­ball court at the Spe­cial Olympics Na­tional Games this week, he may be a step closer to achiev­ing a dream.

Mr Steinhardt, of High­land Park, has al­ready rep­re­sented Queens­land three times but he longs to also rep­re­sent his coun­try one day.

He is in Ade­laide this week, com­pet­ing at the Spe­cial Olympics Na­tional Games, which close on Fri­day.

The event is a cel­e­bra­tion of diver­sity, in­clu­sion and abil­ity over dis­abil­ity.

Its aim is to ed­u­cate Aus­tralians about in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties.

Its ethos is summed up in the Spe­cial Olympics ath­letes’ oath: “Let me win. But if I can­not win, let me be brave in the at­tempt.”

Mr Steinhardt is one of 1000 ath­letes with an in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­ity, who are com­pet­ing in 11 sports at the event.

The 25-year-old said he played in divi­sion four for the Gold Coast Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion at Car­rara where he plays in the Jade Stone Jesters team.

“I love bas­ket­ball and I’ve been play­ing for 15 years,” he said. “I’ve been re­ally look­ing for­ward to the Na­tional Games.”

Proud mum He­len said her son had been play­ing the game since he was 10-years-old.

“He’s a tall lad so he plays cen­tre,” she said.

“He has been com­pet­ing in the Spe­cial Olympics since the ju­nior na­tion­als, when he was 16.

“Sport is very im­por­tant to him and he would have a lot of empty hours with­out it.

“He hasn’t played at a na­tional level yet and would love to rep­re­sent Aus­tralia. He’s aim­ing at the World Games next year.”

Mrs Steinhardt and her hus­band, Neil, are thrilled with their son’s suc­cesses.

“We’re very proud par­ents of what he has achieved and how he has pro­gressed over the years,” she said.

“He loves talk­ing sport, drives his own car and is a very ded­i­cated em­ployee.

“He has worked for Big W at Robina for nine years and he re­ally puts a lot of ef­fort into his daily job. He turns up for work hours be­fore his start­ing time.”

Pic­ture: Sup­plied

Spe­cial Olympics bas­ket­baller Ben Steinhardt cel­e­brates his se­lec­tion for the Queens­land team with his cousins.

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