Zac Ahoy had plenty of success at state and national level in the sport of boccia in the past and made his return to high-level competition in an overseas tournament.
Ahoy travelled to New Zealand to play for NSW at their National Championships and just missed out on a medal.
He played in the teams and singles tournament for two fourth places.
While he was disappointed in not featuring in the medals, Ahoy was thrilled to travel overseas to play his sport.
“I did all right, played against some pretty good opponents. I only lost one game out of four,” he said.
“I did well to come first in the pool but as soon as it came to the semis, I felt a bit of pressure and I lost my way when I got to the semis.
“Just being selected and being able to finally take my first overseas trip was enough for me so I am happy. There were a lot of competitors, it was pretty intense.”
Ahoy said he is heading back into training to help his focus in high pressure situations. Being the only boccia player in Armidale it is tough for him to train but Ahoy has his sights firmly set on state and national titles and is determined to get there.
“Being away and being able to play in a big tournament like that and only just come back felt pretty good,” he said.
“I just need to be able to maintain pressure and keep myself calm in big moments.
“I can't wait to get back into training and go into the first tournament, the state championships which will help keep me focused for the Australian nationals.
“That is my next goal, to do well and come home.
“I am aiming to come home with the gold medal and being called the Australian national BC1 champion.
“One of the guys I beat over in New Zealand, he was one of my teammates, the first game I played against him was in the pool game and I actually beat him 4-1.
“I got a lot of praise from my NSW teammates when I beat him because they were telling me ‘you just beat the Australian BC1 national champion’ and I thought ‘if I beat him over in New Zealand, maybe I can beat him in Australia and takes his title.’”
Ahoy had the help of friends and family to get him over there and siblings Lisa Waters and Charlie Ahoy kept him company throughout the trip.
“Without Lisa and Charlie the trip probably never would have happened,” he said.
“I am glad they came with me because we all enjoyed ourselves. In the singles games because of the category I am in they require a sports assistant to hand them the balls when the athletes turn to throw.
“There were a couple of games where I didn't feel I was living up to my potential and I felt pretty down and Lisa was a big help because she would always give me words of inspiration to build my confidence up for the next game.”
His long-term goal is to pull on the green and gold at the Paralympics.