Down syndrome athlete Hugo Taheny advocates for better inclusion for people with disability

Hugo Taheny

Growing up in the country and being the youngest of five, Taheny did everything his siblings did, including playing weekend sports — a ritual for most country kids.

But as team sports became more difficult due to Taheny's vision and hearing impairments, he tried his luck in athletics, specifically shot-put and discus, and found he could throw things — very far.

Better known as Rockstar, Taheny began competing outside of his home town of Point Turton.

It wasn't long before word spread about the athlete living with Down syndrome competing against able-bodied athletes.
Among those who took notice was Michael Thomson, project coordinator for Sports Inclusion Australia — an organisation that works on behalf of athletes with intellectual impairments.

"I spent the next six months trying to find Hugo and get in contact with his family to talk to them about the pathway and the opportunities that are there for [him] if he wants to pursue it," he said.

"The next minute, Hugo was wearing green and gold and competing for Australia at the global games in 2019."

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Credit: ABC News