24 May 2019

Canberra’s Tim D’abrera overcoming life’s obstacles

| Tim Gavel
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Tim D'abrera. Photo: Supplied.

27-year-old Canberra athlete, Tim D’abrera. Photos: Supplied.

At 27 years of age, Tim D’abrera has already had what most would consider a lifetime of obstacles thrown his way including plenty of medical issues. But his resilience is unbelievable.

Born with an intellectual disability and profound deafness, Tim lives for sport, in particular, track and field. His preferred discipline is pole vault, but he competes in just about everything. He loves training and competing. Not at all fazed by where he is placed in events, Tim’s mum, Trish, says he just revels in the sheer enjoyment of being involved in sport.

He couldn’t run properly until he was ten years of age but swimming and continuing to run helped him develop. He was a good swimmer, representing at State level, but his real passion has always been track and field.

Tim competes weekly at Athletics ACT competitions for the South Canberra Tuggeranong Club and has represented the ACT at the Australian Championships on numerous occasions.

This year he broke the Australian T20 (intellectual disability) record for the pole vault and has subsequently been selected in the Australian team for the 2019 INAS Global Games in Brisbane. The INAS Global Games is a multi-sport event for the world’s best athletes with an intellectual impairment.

Tim in action on the track. Photo: Supplied.

Tim loves to compete.

Tim carries the letter informing him of his selection everywhere he goes, even to work in garden maintenance with Koomari. Trish says, while he may not fully understand the significance, he is aware that it is important.

While we all should be celebrating his selection in the INAS Global Games, he needs to complete the INAS eligibility assessment, which includes an IQ test to ensure that he meets the intellectual disability criteria.

The problem is, as Trish discovered, there are no psychologists in Canberra able to administer the test because they don’t do signing, which is required because of his deafness. So Tim and Trish will be forced to go to Sydney for a test later this month at a cost of $1,500. A major part of this expense is the employment of someone who will sign for Tim.

Trish though, is used to hurdles. She knows that Tim’s passion for sport is so strong and the benefits associated with his participation are incalculable. So nothing will stop her from making it happen. Sport has given Tim confidence and helped with his social skills and gross motor development.

Trish is enormously proud of her son. “He’s been able to do so many things that people didn’t think he could; he’s amazing,” she says.

With the help of an incredibly supportive family, Tim is on the verge of achieving something the majority can only dream of; representing their country in sport.

It would appear the barriers placed in front of this family have only made them stronger and more determined.

Original Article published by Tim Gavel on The RiotACT.

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