Ben’s basketball dream comes true
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.”
Special Olympics basketballer Ben Steinhardt celebrates his selection for the Queensland team with his cousins.