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Year Awarded: 2015
Sport: Wheelchair Basketball
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Scholarship Holders

Tom O'Neill-Thorne - Wheelchair Basketball

Tom O'Neill-Thorne was awarded The Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program in October 2014 for the 2015 year. His Mentor is David Bell OAM. 

Tom O’Neill-Thorne is a 17 year old student from Darwin, Northern Territory. Tom was born with Arthrogryposis, a congenital condition that affected his legs and confined him to a wheelchair from the age of two.

Tom has always been passionate about sport. He was introduced to wheelchair basketball at the age of 9, where a local Darwin junior competition was established for wheelchair and able bodied children. Tom pursued his passion for wheelchair basketball through the Queensland Junior team and the Australian development squad at the AIS, Canberra. In 2012 Tom gained a starting five position in the Queensland Spinning Bullets National League Team. In 2012 at the age of 14, Tom was selected in the Australian Emerging Rollers for his first international tournament in Dubai, where the team won Gold. In 2013, Tom was part of the Australian Under 23 team to bring home Bronze from the World Championships. This year he was successful in gaining a position in the Australian Men’s Rollers team, who contested, and won back to back World Championships, winning Gold in Korea.

Tom has his sights set on the 2016 Paralympic Games and other future Australian Wheelchair basketball endeavours.

Top 5 Performances of the last 18 months:

  • 2014 Wheelchair Basketball World Championship Gold Medal
  •  2013 U23 Wheelchair Basketball Junior World Championship Bronze Medal
  • 2013 Northern Territory Junior Sportsperson of the Year
  • 2014 Basketball Australia Male Junior Wheelchair Basketball Player of the Year
  • 2013 National Wheelchair Basketball League Bronze Medal


Mentor:  David Bell OAM

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When considering the stature of an athlete or for that matter any person, I set great store in certain qualities which I believe to be essential in addition to skill. They are that the person conducts his of her life with dignity, with integrity, courage, and perhaps most of all, with modesty. These virtues are totally compatible with pride, ambition, and competitiveness.