High hopes for rising star

ST JOHNS Park resident Shaun Fitzpatrick's goal of playing goalball in England is one step closer.

The 16-year-old was among 30 kids who were presented with a Variety Scholarship to fund goalball training and competition costs.

Shaun, who has had a vision impairment since he was two, has represented both NSW and Australia in goalball and is currently in the NSW Blind Cricket team.

The aim of of goalball is to roll the ball into the opponent's goal while avoiding the opposing players trying to block the ball with their bodies.

"I have been playing goalball for just over three years and I enjoy playing because I get to meet other athletes with vision impairments," he said.

"My mum and I are grateful for any financial help because it is very hard to find the money to help me with the travel and camp costs."

The scholarship will allow Shaun to attend Australian training camps with other elite youth goalball players in Narabeen.

"It will also help if I make the Australian team which is planning to go to England in August," he said. "It also helps with the costs of attending tournaments like the Aussie Invitational and the Nationals."

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