Hard work pays off with three medals for Riley at nationals
DEDICATION has paid off for 12-year-old Mullaway resident Riley Saban.
Riley was crowned with three honours at the weekend for his blazing performance at the 2015 Boccia National Titles in Narrabeen.
Competing as a junior, Riley won a bronze medal in the junior singles BC3 category as well as hard earned silver medal in the junior pairs BC3 category.
In a significant honour, Riley was also presented with the coveted Boccia Australia Chairman's award for exceptional achievement and determination in the sport.
Riley was selected for the award from over 100 athletes competing in the titles.
Played at the Paralympic level, Boccia is a bowling game similar to the Italian game of bocce; designed for people with some loss of functional arm and hand movement.
Riley has a condition called Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy, but has never let anything get in his way as he triumphs through whatever life puts before him.
Last year, Riley's dad Clint crafted a wooden ramp that allows Riley to train for the sport.
"It's a very regulated sport and the ramp complies with a lot of very specific rules," he said.
"It's a sport where Riley's in a full control - he makes every decision... there's a great sense of achievement."
Riley's triumph at the national titles follows a year of success that began with the 2014 NSW Boccia School Knockout competition with a team from Sandy Beach Public School.
The team later progressed to the state finals held at Homebush.
In October, Riley then competed in the NSW Junior State Titles held at The Sydney Academy Of Sport at Narrabeen before the NSW Open State Titles in March.
After impressing coaching staff, he was selected as one of three juniors to represent NSW in his BC3 category at the nationals.
The weekend's result sees Riley closer to his dream of competing in the sport at a national level.
Riley thanked the committee of the Woolgoolga Marine Rescue for allowing him to train in their hall and the community for their ongoing support.