Weston’s Tyson O’Neil has finally brought home an elusive gold medal from the Australian Goalball Championships.
After finishing with silver at the past two national championships, O’Neil and the NSW junior team went through the 2017 tournament undefeated, beating Queensland 12-5 in the final.
O’Neil, 14, was also named in the All Star team (the top six junior players), for which he received a trophy.
The Australian Goalball Championships were held at Collingwood College, Melbourne from October 4 to 7.
Queensland took out both the men’s and women’s senior divisions, with the youth (15-19 years) title going to South Australia.
VIDEO: Check out the highlights of the Australian Goalball Championships here.
A Paralympic sport exclusively for visually-impaired athletes, goalball was invented in 1946 in an effort to rehabilitate the blind veterans from World War II.
It is played in complete silence, as opposing players try to block a ball containing several bells with their bodies by listening to the ball.
All players are blindfolded to ensure an equal playing field.
O’Neil took up goalball just over three years ago and hopes to represent Australia at the 2024 Paralympics in Paris (he won’t be quite old enough for the 2020 Games in Tokyo).
Meanwhile, the Kurri Kurri High School student has been selected in the NSW goalball team for the Pacific School Games in Adelaide in December.
It will be O’Neil’s second time representing NSW at the games and he hopes to better the bronze medal from the last games in 2015.
O’Neil has received the junior athlete with a disability award at the Cessnock City Sportsperson of the Year awards for the past three years in recognition of his efforts in goalball and athletics.
RELATED CONTENT: 2016 Cessnock City Sportsperson of the Year awards
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