Australian Winter Paralympian
Australia's youngest Winter Paralympian
Ben Tudhope etched his name into Australian sports history when he became the youngest Winter Paralympian in Australian history, at the age of 14 years old.In a recent heartfelt interview with Sport4All, Tudhope opened up about his sporting journey, inspirations, and the impact of sports on his life. The emotional and inspiring conversation delved into the mental strength that propels him forward and the profound ways in which sports have enriched his life.
Ben Tudhope, Australian Winter Paralympian:
Carving a Path of Triumph and Inclusivity in Australian Sports
In the world of snowboarding, few stories shine as brightly as that of Ben Tudhope, the Australian Paralympian whose journey from the slopes of St Leonards to the podiums of the Winter Paralympics has captivated hearts around the globe. Tudhope, born on December 13, 1999, is not just a snowboarder; he is a symbol of resilience, determination, and the limitless potential within each of us.
A Glimpse into Ben's World: Sport4All Interview
In a recent heartfelt interview with Sport4All, Tudhope opened up about his sporting journey, inspirations, and the impact of sports on his life. The emotional and inspiring conversation delved into the mental strength that propels him forward and the profound ways in which sports have enriched his life.
Breaking Barriers at Sochi 2014
At the tender age of 14, Ben Tudhope etched his name into Australian sports history at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi. He became the youngest Winter Paralympian in Australian history, breaking barriers and setting a new standard for young athletes.
Since his breakthrough in Sochi, Tudhope has continued to ascend to greater heights. Winning six World Cup titles and two World Championships medals, he has cemented his position as a snowboarding powerhouse.
Continued Triumphs and Leadership
As co-captain of the Australian Paralympic Snowboard Team, Tudhope lead by example, inspiring and motivating his fellow athletes to reach their full potential. He is a true champion, both on and off the slopes.
Advocacy for Inclusivity
Beyond his personal triumphs, Tudhope has emerged as a powerful advocate for inclusivity in sports. He passionately believes that everyone, regardless of ability, should have the opportunity to participate in sports. Tudhope envisions a future where individuals with and without disability can compete together, breaking down barriers and fostering a more inclusive sporting landscape.
A Champion for Disability Inclusion in Australian Sports
Ben Tudhope's story goes beyond the slopes; it is a narrative of triumph over adversity and a call to action for a more inclusive sporting future. His journey, coupled with his advocacy for disability inclusion, serves as an inspiration for athletes and enthusiasts alike. As we follow Tudhope's tracks through the snow, let us also tread the path he champions—one of unity, equality, and the boundless spirit of inclusivity in Australian sports.
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[Background music starts playing.]
00:01 – 00:22:
[The video opens with an Acknowledgement of Country, featuring Aboriginal artwork in the background.]
Voiceover: “Sport4All would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we all live, work, and travel upon. We pay our respects to elders past, present, and emerging, and acknowledge and respect the connection that First Nations peoples have to the sea, the sky, and the land. We acknowledge any and all First Nations peoples involved in making the following videos as well as those who are viewing it.”
00:22 – 00:27:
[The screen transitions. The Sport4All logo appears at the center, and the campaign name “Game Changers – Champions of Disability Inclusion” appears on screen.]
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[The screen transitions again. The Sport4All logo moves to the top left, and the campaign name moves to the top right. Text appears at the center, celebrating the International Day of People with Disability 2023 and highlighting 14 unique stories.]
00:31 – 00.35:
[The screen transitions. The Sport4All logo and campaign name remain unchanged. Text appears, “Hear from athletes, sports administrators, teachers, disability and inclusion consultants as they reshape attitudes towards disability within our sporting community.” A collage of images featuring the interviewees is displayed at the bottom.]
00.36 – 00.42:
[The screen transitions. The Sport4All logo and campaign name remain unchanged. Animated text slides across the screen reading, “A candid chat with…” followed by the bold text, “Ben Tudhope.” Ben’s image in para snowboarding gear with the Australian flag is displayed, accompanied by text describing the interview.]
00.42 – 00.42:
[The screen transitions. “Ben Tudhope – Para Snowboard” text appears on the left with additional details about his participation in the Paralympics. Ben introduces himself: “I am Ben and I’m a three-time Paralympic snowboarder.”]
00.43 – 01:10:
[The screen transitions. Ben’s name is to the left, and text appears, “On his Paralympic journey…” Ben shares his experiences, mentioning his record as a paralympian.]
Ben Tudhope: “So I guess I started my Paralympic journey, and I was super young, so I was 14 years old at my first Paralympic games in 2014. And I actually still hold the record for being the world’s youngest-ever Winter Paralympian, which is pretty special to me.”
01:14 – 01:20:
[The screen transitions. The question changes on the left, and Ben talks about becoming a world champion, winning his first Paralympic medal in the 2022 Beijing Paralympic Games.]
Ben Tudhope: “I’ve been to Korea, the Korean Paralympic games, in PyeongChang and most recently on the 2022 Beijing Paralympic Games, and that’s where I won my first Paralympic medal, Bronze in the border course”.
01:21 – 01:44:
[The screen transitions. Ben’s video moves to the left, and three images of Ben in action snowboarding appear on the right. Ben discusses winning his first World Championship in Spain.]
Ben Tudhope: “And then most recently, my best achievement is becoming world champion only this year in March and that was a competition in Spain”.
01:44 – 02:00:
[The screen transitions. Ben’s name remains on the left, and text appears, “His relationship with disability…”]
Ben Tudhope: “I’ll take you back to the kind of beginning. I was born with Cerebral palsy and my parents were diagnosed or had me diagnosed with a disability when I was 12 months old”.
02:00 – 02:21:
[The screen transitions. Ben’s name remains on the left, and text appears, “On his early days playing sport…” Ben talks about his childhood, participating in school sports, and exploring various activities.]
Ben Tudhope: “I guess I was really lucky to put, to be put in that situation because I was doing all the school sport, all the fun. I was, going, just enjoying life, hurting myself as a kid, being a kid. And so that really let me explore what I wanted to do.”.
02:22 – 02:45:
[The screen transitions. Ben’s name remains on the left, and text appears, “On how he fell in love with sport…” Ben discusses his introduction school sports.]
Ben Tudhope: “It was actually, yeah, through school sport where, there’s a competition called schools, which I was a part of when I was, the second year snowboarding. so I was 10, 11 years old, doing that competition and fell in love with that competing aspect of it”.
02:46 – 03:14:
[The screen transitions. Ben’s name remains on the left, and text appears, “The crucial role of his school in fostering a sense of belonging and inclusion…” Ben expresses gratitude for the support he received at Shore School in Sydney.]
Ben Tudhope: “I went to Shore school in Sydney and they, I went there from kindergarten to year 12 and they supported me throughout everything I did. And so I’m very grateful that I went to such a great school and with teachers who didn’t just care about your results or your education, they cared about you as a person too, and they wanted you to feel welcome and yes, treated equally”.
03:15 – 04:27:
[The screen transitions. Ben’s name remains on the left, and text appears, “On overcoming unconscious bias and misconceptions…” Ben shares his mindset of never giving up.]
Ben Tudhope: “Yeah, I had a lot of instructors telling me and my parents that, look, this kid probably shouldn’t be doing this. He doesn’t have the ability to do this. And for me, what my head, what my mindset was for as long as I could ever known was to never give up. And I know that’s quite a “cheesy” line, but it’s true because no matter what anyone tells you, and no matter what anyone says, they’ll think everyone has the power to achieve what they want to. They just need to push as hard as they can both physically and emotionally, and then they can achieve. They really just need to not care what anyone says. And so, yeah, I guess for me, somebody with my love and my passion, so it doesn’t matter what anyone told me, I was just going to do it. And when I finally did get some talent, it actually made me way more fearless than anyone else”.
[The screen transitions. Ben’s name remains on the left, and text appears, “The significance of sports in his life and the personal meaning it holds for him…” Ben reflects on the valuable lessons he learned through sports, shaping him into the person he is today.]
Ben Tudhope: “Sport has set me up for life, really. I’ve learned all my biggest valuable lessons through my sport, not through a bad result type school, not through being on the playground. It’s being out on the field, out in the slopes in the competition where I’ve learned the most valuable lessons and they have actually set me up to live by my values. And that’s what I try and do every single day. I won my first World Cup I medal at Paralympic games I won my first World Championships. And it’s taken, it is taken a lot of time, but it’s that mindset which that has brought me to where I am today and that is brought to the love and learning the valuable lessons with sport. And it may be the confident person that I’m today. And so that has not only helped me in my sport, but also it allowed me to be confident, a confident person with a disability in the real world as well.”
[The screen transitions. Ben’s name remains on the left, and text appears, “What grassroots sports clubs can do to ensure they are inclusive for everyone…” Ben discusses the importance of incorporating disability programs into sports clubs for inclusivity.]
Ben Tudhope: “I think in this day and age in the modern society we are living in, having a disability program, a part of any sports club is a necessity because that brings a visible aspect of paralympic sport, which not only helps kids with disabilities get easier access to sport, but it also opens up able-bodied children’s eyes to access to view disabled sport from a very early age. So they viewed it as normal. And I’m not saying that these programs should be segregated. They should train together, they should do everything together, but have that disability component or program within. So it’s not challenging for both the parents and the child of, of a five-year-old child to get into that sport, get to get into that soccer club.”
07:00 – 07:26:
[The screen transitions. Ben’s name remains on the left, and text appears, “A message to the community…” Ben emphasizes the desire for people with disabilities to be treated equally.]
Ben Tudhope: “People with disabilities just want to be treated equally. They don’t need any more attention than any other person. They just want to be seen as equal. And that’s what we are striving for. And once that equality line is fair across everyone, that’s when the world becomes better place.”
07:26 – 07:31:
[The screen transitions. A big blue background with black text reads, “Across Australia, only 1 in 4 people with disability are playing sport, while 3 in 4 of them WANT to, but can’t access it. 75% of Australians with disability want to participate in sport but feel there are limited opportunities. Source: Sport Australia, 2019 AusPlay survey.”]
07:32 – 07:37:
[The screen transitions. The Sport4All logo is at the top center, accompanied by text encouraging viewers to join the Game Changers, be inspired by incredible stories, and follow them on socials.]
07:37 – 07:39:
[The screen transitions. The Sport4All logo appears with the text “Any Sport, anywhere for anyone.” A voiceover echoes the tagline: “Any Sport, anywhere for anyone.”]
[Background music fades away, and the video ends.]