Young siblings Bree Smith and Nick Smith and clay target shooter Matt Schiller have picked up major awards at the Young Sports Advisory Committee presentation night on Saturday.
Bree and Nick were recognsied for their achievements as cutting horse competitors and received the juniors Sportsperson of the Year and intermediate Sportsperson of the Year titles respectively, while Schiller collected the senior Sportsperson of the Year crown.
Both Bree and Nick won Australian Horse Cutting titles during the 2018, and Schiller became the youngest athlete to be inducted into the NSW Clay Target Shooting Hall of Fame.
Nick thanked his parents for their support, something guest speaker Scott Reardon, a Paralympic gold medal winner, highlighted during his presentation to more than 100 people at the Young Golf Club.
Reardon told the story of how he completely amputated the lower part of his leg during a farming incident involving a post hole digger on his childhood farm at Temora when he was 12 years old.
He also spoke about his vision of playing rugby league for the Kangaroos and being an elite athlete from a young age, and then overcoming the mental and physical challenges to become a Paralympic gold medal winner, as well as a water skiing world champion.
"If you sit down on your backside and expect things to come to you, nothing will ever happen," Reardon said. Reardon explained that once he had his first prosthetic he was quickly asking "how can I run?".
Temora Hospital installed some parallel bars which allowed him to take his first steps as a runner, he said.
However, he gave competitive water skiing a try and within three years of losing his leg, at the age of 15, Reardon represented Australia at world championships in Belgium.
Reardon finished school and wanted a new challenge, so he moved to Canberra and began sprint training. Within 12 months he had moved to fifth in the world rankings.
He said he had a "terrible" world championships in 2011 but learnt a lot which helped him execute a race to win silver at London Paralympics in 2012, motivating him to go one step further at Rio in 2016.
"I remember distinctly while in hospital going down a really emotional path where I was starting to repeat the words 'why me?'. After about 20 minutes I thought 'you know what, why not me?. I can get off my backside and live life to the absolute fullest'," Reardon said.
Reardon capped his presentation with a brief question and answer session before taking time to mingle with the crowd at the end.
Awards were also presented to International Sportsperson of the Year Saxson Southwell, all-rounders Brock and Clay Sing and veteran Dave Webster.
Service to sport awards went to Len Summerfield and Ben Cooper and Team of the Year was won by Young North Public School's Aerobics team.
Rugby league great Brett Mullins was also inducted into Young's sporting Hall of Fame.
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