Wheelchair can’t stop teen from chasing his sporting dream

Thanks to Joel Gould and Sarah Harvey.

To read more go to – http://www.qt.com.au/news/footy-mad-tyson-knows-the-score/1951193/

MEET one of Ipswich Jets’ greatest fans and most valuable volunteers.

Seventeen-year-old Tyson Turner-Thomas may be wheelchair bound but that hasn’t stopped him playing a key role at the Jets while pursuing his passion at the same time.

When the Jets score points in home games, and they’ve been doing plenty of that this year, Tyson has it recorded on the scoreboard in a flash.

Tyson, in Year 11 at Bremer State High, is the Jets scoreboard attendant and he can be found in the scorer’s box with flamboyant Jets ground announcer Jacko Lyons at home games.

“Tyson is quick,” Jacko says.

“I always know that the scoreboard is looked after.

“We’ve got a remote controlled box here that operates the scoreboard on the other side of the ground…and he’s got the job down pat.

“He picked it up really quick, which I never doubted at all. He loves it. We have a lot of fun together in here and Tyson is a valued member of the team. I’d be lost without him.”

Tyson, who was born with mixed spastic dystonic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, had a dream of playing a sport that would get him to the Olympic Games.

After watching an inspirational movie at school about a high achieving person with a disability he was adamant he would not let being in a wheelchair stop him attaining his own goals.

Tyson plays T-Ball and electric wheelchair sports and says coming to Jets games for work experience is a thrill.

“I love being involved,” he says.

“It is my favourite game. I’ve loved it since I was a little kid.”

Ask who his favourite player is and the answer – captain Keiron Lander – comes back in a flash.

“After the game I normally go and speak to him in the dressing room,” Tyson says.

Jets CEO Wayne Wendt says the players appreciate Tyson’s support.

“Tyson loves his job and the people here at the club love him as well. He is like one of the players. He gets into the change room after the games and when we win and sing the team song, Tyson is right in the middle of it,” he says.

“The players value having such great support. They mean a lot to Tyson, but he means a lot to them as well.”