HORSHAM athlete Joel Emmett will travel to Canada to compete at the 2017 World Dwarf Games from August 4 to 12.
Emmett will compete in four sections at the games – basketball, badminton, track and soccer.
He has played basketball since his primary school days and started playing badminton about three years ago.
Emmett said he was looking forward to playing basketball the most.
“I’ve played basketball since before year four and played domestically since then,” he said.
“Coming away with a medal would be the highlight of the week.
“I am also looking forward to competing against and meeting other short stature people.
“I’ll meet so many lifelong friends. It’s a good social gathering as well.”
Emmett said he learned the games while playing basketball for Victoria.
“I’ve always known about it and when some of the players asked if I wanted to do it, I thought, ‘why not?’” Emmett said.
“For track I will be doing a 100-metre sprint and I will be part of the relay team and for soccer I will be a substitute.”
Sports are played on different days of the games so the athletes do not get overloaded.
“I have never really competed specifically against people of my height so it’s a great feeling,” Emmett said.
“Another reason I really want to do it is the opportunity to represent Australia.”
Emmett grew up in Horsham and played basketball for the Horsham Amateur Basketball Association in its domestic competition and football for Horsham District league club Natimuk United.
“Horsham is a real sport-first town. Everyone really encourages you to play sport and that is how I became super interested in basketball,” he said.
“People encouraged me and everyone was really supportive. They didn’t care about ability and that is one of the reasons I continued playing.”
Emmett and the Australian team had their first training camps at the Gold Coast in May 2016 and he said they have had several in Melbourne since.
“The most recent camp was on July 8 and 9 and it was our last one,” he said.