True Aussie battler wins top award

AMAZING AUSSIE: Twenty-four-year-old Kie Wilson-McNaught is Gympie region’s Australia Day Youth Sports Person of the Year, because of his incredible sporting achievements despite having muscular dystrophy. Photo by Greg Miller.
AMAZING AUSSIE: Twenty-four-year-old Kie Wilson-McNaught is Gympie region’s Australia Day Youth Sports Person of the Year, because of his incredible sporting achievements despite having muscular dystrophy. Photo by Greg Miller. Greg Miller

KIE Wilson-McNaught is truly an inspiration for the Gympie region and now has the award to prove it, after being named Gympie Regional Council's 2015 Community Australia Day Youth Sports Person of the Year.

Although family around Wilson-McNaught told him to not get his hopes too high, he said, "I knew I would win".

The 24 year old from Tuchekoi has had to overcome more than most after being diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at age three.

The condition causes weakening of the muscles, mainly in the upper body and heart.

For someone who was told they would be confined to a wheelchair by age six, Wilson-McNaught has made incredible achievements.

He pushed past all barriers and limitations and has now become an elite sportsman.

Some of his many talents have led him to sporting achievements at state level swimming, athletics and basketball.

Wilson-McNaught initially dove into his sporting career at age 13, beginning in the water with swimming.

He takes his life in his hands every time he goes into the water as at any moment the muscles around his mouth could contract and stop him breathing.

The next challenge was trying athletics - he now excels at running, long jump and shot put.

Wilson-McNaught went to the Australian Special Olympics in Melbourne in October last year where he won two gold, one silver and two bronze medals.

As a result of his accomplishments Wilson-McNaught qualified for Team Australia at the World Special Olympics to be held in Los Angles in July, this year for the 100m run, 100m relay and shot put.

Wilson-McNaught's athletics coach suggested trying shot put, in which he placed first, winning gold.

It was a big surprise for mother Robyna McNaught who laughed and said, "you've got to be joking", after he had earlier struggled with muscle control and not been able to release the shot.

He will begin training on the Gold Coast in the next two weeks, along with seven other athletes, two of whom are also Gympie residents.

His weeks are full-on with training for three sports including basketball, which he picked up in the past few years.

But with his miracles, come side effects, with an above average heart rate putting him at risk of a stroke.

Mrs McNaught said her son knows his limits and would continue to play sport as long as he could, with all the risks in the back of his mind.

Wilson-McNaught also serves as an inspiration for others, especially when volunteering to coach basketball at Currimundi and Nambour Special Schools and Riding for the Disabled Sunshine Coast.

It is clear that Kie Wilson McNaught is a true Aussie battler and on Friday, he will be accepting his second award of the week at the Sunshine Coast Sports Star of the Year awards.

Gympie Times

Topics:  australia day award sport

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