Young Guns | Know The Future
Wheelchair Sports Young Guns athletes Taitum Brown and Hayley Slocombe tell us what they know for certain in an uncertain world: their love and dedication for their sport, what they think the future holds, and how they’re preparing for it.
With six years under his belt in wheelchair basketball, Taitum Brown is a Young Gun of the sport. The 18-year-old Penrith athlete plays for the Sydney Metro Blue Hornets in the National Wheelchair Basketball League, NSW Juniors, and he has represented Australia in the Kitakyushu Champions Cup. Thinking back, he recalls thinking that never in a million years would he get the ball anywhere near the hoop. But with a lot of commitment, drive, and a strict six-days a week training routine, he’s quickly become one of the state’s best players.
Looking toward the future, Taitum is gunning to represent his country at the highest level. His secret game plan to get there is ‘to train harder than you play’. He believes even though there’s no way to predict the future, preparation means you’re in the best position to go with the flow. Watch on to find out how Taitum’s preparing for his future.
No way could you predict the future. I just kind of go with the flow, so whatever's thrown at me, and just make do with what I've got.
I'm Taitum Brown, I play wheelchair basketball and I’m 18 years old. I play for the New South Wales Juniors, I also play in the NWBL
I didn't know I was going to make it this far, to be honest, never really saw myself playing any sport. I never knew I could play a sport like this.
Once I found out I could play wheelchair sports and compete with people at my own level, I was overwhelmed with joy.
When I first started, I couldn't reach the ring. But now I can jack up threes from half-court, can pretty much shoot anywhere I need.
Just opened my eyes for what I could do with a disability and just the capabilities of others.
So the way I look at it, if you train harder than you play, the game feels easy.
In real life something will happen, you hold onto it, it can be like a snowball effect. Just one thing builds up after another.
Same as a basketball game, if you hold onto a missed shot or a foul, you're going to miss the next shot. And the shot after, or you’re going to fail again.
So it's better just to let go and start on a fresh plate and be the best you can.
Wheelchair basketball means the world to me. It's community, it's a big family and yeah, it's unreal to be a part of.
I do want to be the best, not so much the best player. Like that's always the goal but I want to be the best version of myself.
Wheelchair Tennis athlete Hayley Slocombe knows a thing or two about chasing her passions. With 12 years of experience on the court, the 19-year-old player shares that when she started playing, she could barely fit her hand around a racket. Today, she competes professionally, competing throughout Australia and the world, and sees herself amongst the worlds’ top 40 players in the next 10 years.
Hayley shares how a positive mindset and supportive network can have a domino effect on achieving your goals. She is a regular mentor at the Wheelchair Sports NSW/ ACT junior camps and has recently taken on tennis coaching. She believes no matter how hard you try to predict the future; you never know what’s going to hit you. So how does she prepare for the unknown? When life gives you flat tyres, make sure you bring spare tyres! Watch on to find out how she knows her future, and the future of wheelchair sports.
I think that you can definitely try to predict the future, but you never know what's going to hit you.
My name is Hayley Slocombe. I play wheelchair tennis and it's my greatest passion in life.
I got into wheelchair tennis when I was seven. I've been playing for 12 years.
When I first started, I was quite young. I could barely fit my hand around a racket.
So the control over the ball I had wasn't as good as I have now.
I stay positive relatively easy, I think it comes naturally to me.
In the lead-up to a game, mentally, I like to sit down and reassure myself. I've trained for this moment. I've done it before.
I think always being an optimist in every situation, focusing on the things you've done right, can definitely change my game.
In the future, I see myself definitely still competing. I think that being in the top 40 or 50… no, 40, for me is definitely a goal.
I definitely strive to be the role model for wheelchair tennis, and I think the more role models, the better.
At GIO, one of our most cherished partnerships is with Wheelchair Sports NSW/ACT (WSNSW/ACT), who work hard to encourage and facilitate opportunities for people in wheelchairs who want to get active. Supporting wheelchair athletes at all levels, from grassroots teams to elite, we’re proud to be able to help WSNSW/ACT encourage strong community ties with resilience and respect. For more information on our partnerships visit our sponsorships page.
- Seven volunteering options for the time poor
- Natural ways to improve your gut health
- Digital detox: create a healthier relationship with your phone
Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO.