Mr MATT KEAN ( Hornsby ) ( 16:58 ): For most of us mastering one sport can take a lifetime, but what about nine? When not at school, 12-year-old Josh Feneley has found his niche as one of Hornsby's rising sport stars. Josh has mild autism and a mild intellectual disability but this has been no barrier to his sporting success. This year, Josh qualified for the School Sport Australia National Swimming Championships as a multiclass swimmer and participated in the School Sport Australia National Cross Country Championships, coming first over the line by half a minute, although he was bumped down to fifth due to the physical disabilities of other competitors.
In September, Josh's mainstream team, the Hornsby Berowra Eagles under 12s, won the Australian Football League grand final against the Mosman Swans. As if this was not enough, he was shortlisted to play in the Hornsby District under 12 cricket rep team, and competed as a para-athlete at the Sydney North Regional Athletics in every event except high jump. Whilst Josh's mum, Kerry, has remarked how overwhelmed the Feneley family has been by Josh's success and talent, she urges people to have a greater understanding and appreciation of the small successes that enhance the lives of those with a disability. I am not alone in saying that I cannot wait to see where Josh's passion for sport takes him. I wish him all the best as he continues to smash personal bests in the future.
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