NATHAN Sobey is living every sporty child’s dream.
That’s the assessment of his mother, Kerrie, as the Warrnambool-raised basketballer vies for a Commonwealth Games gold medal with Australia.
And while the Sobey family couldn’t get to Cairns to watch his pool matches, the Adelaide 36ers guard will have a Warrnambool-based cheer squad in Saturday’s semi-final bout against Scotland on the Gold Coast.
“It’s every sportsman’s dream to represent their country. Even if you play at that elite level, you dream of representing your country,” Kerrie told The Standard on Friday.
“You’re proud regardless of what (your children) do. You dream of getting to that stage and he’s been fortunate enough to do it.”
Kerrie said Sobey had weighed up taking an Australian jersey against the lure of a European contract.
“It was tough for Nathan because he had the chance to take up a European contract. He had to make that decision,” she said.
“I think it’s a heart and soul thing to want to play for Australia and he took that up.”
She revealed Sobey – a 27-year-old who graduated from the University of Wyoming – was excited to link up with Australian teammates at the Gold Coast athletes’ village.
“He’s moved in there now after a little while playing up in Cairns. I think it’ll be a different environment,” Kerrie said.
“Up in Cairns, it was just basketballers. He’ll be with a spread of athletes on the Gold Coast.”
Rebecca Ratcliffe, the mother of Warrnambool-raised Hockeyroos striker Madi Ratcliffe, said Brisbane-based family were excited to watch her daughter in action.
Ratcliffe’s Hockeyroos are set to play for gold against New Zealand on Saturday afternoon.
“She’s had a lot of messages and well-wishes from people, and even in the media it’s been great to see hockey get a bit of coverage because it doesn’t get a lot of attention outside the internal bubble,” she said.
“You never stop being proud – she’s doing amazing things.
“It’s exciting we can be a part of it because it’s not very often parents can go and barrack and watch their kid’s job.”
Portland cyclist Shannon Malseed will ride out as Australian champion – a title she won in Buninyong – in Commonwealth Games action on Saturday morning.
Cyclescape head mechanic Sam Edwards said cyclists had been coming into the Ballarat shop, where Malseed works, every day for the past couple of weeks to check on her progress.
“Shannon’s been going from strength-to-strength now she’s a fully fledged professional,” he said.