Sport

Paralympic champion

FRANCIS CURRO

October 29, 2103

Champion Western Australian wheelchair basketballer Shaun Norris is taking time out after last month adding silverware to his trophy cabinet with his seventh National Wheelchair Basketball League title.

Norris’ Perth-based team, the Wheelcats, went undefeated in 2013, and claimed the championship 71-59 over the Wollongong Roller Hawks with Norris claiming his third ‘finals most valuable player’ award.

Since 2004, Norris has been part of the Australian Paralympic Basketball Team, The Rollers, which won gold at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and silver in 2012 London and 2004 Athens games.

Last year, Norris was one of 12 finalists in the Western Australian Sports Star of the Year Award.

Wheelchair Sports WA Chief Executive Officer Ray Yong says Norris has achieved much in his career.

“Shaun is loyal to our organisation, his organisation and the extended community of friends he’s made here over many years,” Yong says.

“The other noticeable thing about Shaun is the way he goes about his sport and his life in a very quiet, unassuming, but absolutely determined way.

“I know he’ll go on to achieve much more, and along the way he’ll continue to make his contribution to this organisation and to others as he has always done.”

Shaun Norris

Norris says his long run of success is due to his work ethic.

“The moment you start thinking you are better than everyone else is the moment you are going to slack off, and then you will get beaten,” he said.

“If you really believe that someone else out there can beat you, then it is going to motivate you to be stronger and faster than everyone else.

“If you go to training and only push yourself 50 or 60 per cent, then that is really not going to cut it.”

The 28-year-old says it’s the team accolades he treasures most.

“Playing a team sport, it is really hard to get singled out,” he says.

“You can be the best player in the world but if everyone else is not pulling their weight you are still going to look pretty bad at the end of the day because you are not going to be winning games.”

Norris says he is cautious of not looking too far ahead.

He says he is focusing on the 2014 World Championships and not thinking about the 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil just yet.

Photography: Francis Curro

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