Bates tak­ing skills to na­tional stage

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Hor­sham’s Dy­lan Bates will this week­end con­tinue a trend of young Wim­mera ath­letes bring­ing emerg­ing sports into the main­stream with achieve­ments on the na­tional stage.

Bates is in Bris­bane pre­par­ing to com­pete at the Aus­tralasian Scooter As­so­ci­a­tion, ASA, Na­tional Cham­pi­onships af­ter plac­ing fourth at the Vic­to­rian state fi­nals in March.

His suc­cess fol­lows hot on the heels of Ararat teenager Nathaniel Kuchel, who last month was ranked fourth in Aus­tralia in com­pet­i­tive drone rac­ing.

Bates, 17, will com­pete in the open di­vi­sion at the na­tional cham­pi­onships.

He said he hoped to place in the top 10, paving the way for a tran­si­tion to pro di­vi­sion.

Bates has pre­vi­ously been ranked num­ber one in Aus­tralia, how­ever a top 10 plac­ing will not be an easy task – he is deal­ing with a torn lig­a­ment in his an­kle.

Bates sus­tained the in­jury while train­ing for the ASA state fi­nals.

“The night be­fore the ti­tles I was prac­tic­ing and I fell off and tore it,” he said.

“I didn’t think I’d torn it, so I pushed through it the next day.”

Bates ag­gra­vated the in­jury play­ing foot­ball be­fore fi­nally hav­ing his an­kle checked ‘a few days later’ to dis­cover a torn lig­a­ment.

While a torn lig­a­ment might side­line many com­peti­tors, or at least give them pause, Bates said he never hes­i­tated when de­cid­ing to com­pete at the na­tional cham­pi­onships. “I’m not too both­ered by it,” he said. “It will limit me in what I can do, but I just have to push through it and work around it I sup­pose.

“I’m not go­ing to let my an­kle get in the way of what I want to do.

“I’m still go­ing to throw out my best tricks and if I don’t land them, I don’t land them, but I’ll try my best.”

Com­peti­tors at the cham­pi­onships are judged on sev­eral cri­te­ria, in­clud­ing trick difficulty, style, land­ing, height and the num­ber of times they push.

Bates said he would be up against tough com­pe­ti­tion, but be­lieved he could still place in the top 10.

“You’ve got to be­lieve in your­self, but there is some tough com­pe­ti­tion,” he said.

“I’m hop­ing to go pro in the next year and hope­fully make it to Barcelona for world ti­tles.

“To make it to Barcelona worlds, you have to be in the pro di­vi­sion and I’m not in that yet.

“You have to place in the top 10 in Aus­tralia to qual­ify for worlds.”

Bates, who took up the sport at age 12, said he loved be­ing a scooter am­bas­sador and en­joyed push­ing oth­ers to take up the sport.

“You don’t have any­one telling you what to do, you can make any­thing up your­self. That’s what I love most about it,” he said.

“I like push­ing other lit­tle kids to suc­ceed too, be­cause that’s what I got when I was younger – all the older boys pushed me to do tricks, so I like push­ing the younger gen­er­a­tion to do big­ger tricks too.”

Bates thanked his par­ents and his spon­sor, Fuzion Pro Scoot­ers, for help­ing him get to Bris­bane for the na­tional cham­pi­onships.

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