Scott Mitchell has been playing touch football all his life, but one competition recently was extra special. Earlier this year, Scott was chosen to represent his team, the Sydney Scorpions, for the first time at the National Touch Football Competition.
“We went to Coffs Harbour for Nationals,” says Scott as he uses hand gestures to explain putting his footy uniform to get ready for the big match. “We had good weather and the best thing was seeing my friends, playing footy and going out for dinner.”
Kathy Gottwald is an Assistant in Nursing at Achieve who has been supporting Scott for 20 years. She helps Scott reach his sporting goals and play a variety of sports in the community.
Kathy says she witnessed a transformation in Scott as he got himself prepared for the big competition. “Scott was so excited about the match, he was telling everyone he was going and his usual behaviours weren’t there,” explains Kathy. “The night before we were going to leave for Coffs Harbour, there was a lot of excitement and it was hard for Scott to get to sleep, but in the morning he got up early ready to go.”
Raring to go, the pair arrived at the Coffs Harbour International Stadium for Nationals, which would take place from 11 to 14 March 2020. When they arrived everyone gathered to start on their warm ups. Kathy recalls the team were in high spirits, eager to get started. She says Scott played incredibly well in all his games across the competition.
“Everyone was giving high fives as they ran out onto the field and lots of people from the community came to cheer them on,” says Kathy. “Scott always plays his best at footy, but this time he was on fire and scored eight tries for his team across the whole tournament!”
The end of the final match saw a tight contest between the Sydney Scorpions and the South Queensland Sharks, with the Scorpions coming in a close second. At the presentation ceremony, Scott gave everyone high fives as he collected his medals. “Everyone was proud of me,” he smiles.
Scott’s family, friends and support workers all help to foster his love of sports and provide encouragement. “Scott has made a lot of friends in the community through participating in sporting events and his parents are also strong supporters,” says Kathy.
Graham, Scott’s father, is also athletic and even tried out for the Olympics in 1956 in Melbourne. He sees the benefits of Scott following his passion and love of sports. “I see the enjoyment in his face and the way he talks about it for a long time afterwards,” says Graham. “I think it’s terrific and we are very proud of Scott and his achievements, efforts and enthusiasm in the game.”
Together, father and son also share a love of Ten Pin Bowling and many other sports. “I also love football, soccer, cricket and go bowling on Monday nights,” says Scott. With social distancing restrictions still in place team sports are on hold for now, but we look forward to following more of Scott’s sporting pursuits in future.