But as we get older, we realise that we’re not going to play for Australia; that a quiet career of lower grade social competition might be the best we can hope for. Some of us give up altogether.
And some of us get another chance, albeit through an unexpected and thoroughly obscure avenue.
I had known for a while that I was going to have the chance to play sepak takraw for Australia, and I was ready for it. I’d flown all the way out to Thailand for it and then travelled with the team to Udon Thani for the tournament. But the moment when I first put on my green and gold playing uniform still snuck up on me a bit.
I’ve always been known as being a little bit over the top in my patriotism. And that’s a fair call. I actually got chills when I slipped the uniform on and caught sight of my reflection. It was an absurdly powerful moment given it was just putting a shirt on, but I couldn’t stop grinning all morning.
But that was nothing compared to the moment I stepped onto the court and heard the announcers reading out “Representing Australia, number three, Garry Condoseres”. It seems strange, given that there are so many things that I am much better at than sepak takraw, but that was one of the proudest moments of my life, and will be for a while.
Make of that what you will.
Number three, Garry with 2 Rs