14 November 2016

Page 3


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MP: ‘I have Tourette’s’

Top guns: Women’s world champion Anna Shedrina and junior men’s world champion Mitchell Iles competed in the first of four qualifying events at Frankston Clay Target Club last weekend. Picture: Gary Sissons

Club on target for Australia CLAY target enthusiasts from all over the country converged on Frankston last weekend for the Universal Trench Commonwealth Titles, a qualification event for the 2017 Australian team selection. The prestigious event on Saturday 5-Sunday 6 November was keenly contested with about 90 competitors in 15 squads, coming hot on the heels of the 2016 team’s incredible success at the world championships in Morocco two months ago. That team - made up of shooters from all over the country, returned with world championship titles in three of the four categories - open, junior and ladies, and the Australian junior team and ladies team also won the team gold medals, while the open team took the silver. The Frankston event was the first of four qualifying events

around Australia over the next six months, with the best three target shooters of each category to represent Australia at the 2017 UT world championships in France. Club secretary Jane Vella said the 2016 team’s success created huge interest in the UT discipline of clay target shooting and drew a large crowd of enthusiasts and onlookers. Olympians Mitchel Iles, who went to Rio and also won the UT open and junior world championship this year, and Craig Henwood, who competed at Beijing in 2008, were among competitors. Ms Vella said clay target shooting was growing in popularity, with more than 1000 members at the Frankston club this year, aged from 12 to 90. More info about the UT discipline can be found at the Universal Trench Australia page on Facebook.

DUNKLEY federal MP Chris Crewther has revealed he has Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder featuring involuntary vocal and movement tics. The Liberal MP helped launch the Parliamentary Friendship Group of Tourette Syndrome in Canberra last week and said he personally had suffered from Tourettes before its diagnosis. “I have Tourette’s. This is the first time I have raised this publicly, or in any job, or beyond close friends and family,� he said in Parliament last Wednesday (9 November). “Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder. It consists of vocal and motor tics, that is, rapid, repetitive and involuntary muscle movements. “For example, eye blinking, head jerking and repetitive limb movements and throat clearing. They are irresistible and eventually must be performed.� Despite widespread belief, many Tourette’s affected people do not involuntarily swear and curse. “Tourette’s usually begins between 2 and 21, with the average age of 7–8. Current prevalence is 1 per cent in children, with boys three to four times more likely to have it. “My symptoms began between grades 1-3. Unfortunately, I wasn’t diagnosed until my early 20s. This meant a lot of bullying at school for ‘habits’, which many kids with Tourette’s experience.� Mr Crewther said he had considered mentioning the condition during his

Chris Crewther

maiden Parliamentary speech after his election in July but decided to focus on policy. He felt the time was now right to let others know they are not alone in dealing with the symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome. “I am proud ... to launch the Parliamentary Friendship Group of Tourette Syndrome, joined by the president of Tourette Syndrome Association of Australia, Robyn Latimer, and runner-up in The Voice, Adam Ladell who also has Tourette’s. “I hope Adam and I are evidence that people with Tourette’s can achieve anything.� See tourette.org.au or call the Tourette Syndrome Association of Australia on 02 9382 3726 for information on help to deal with Tourette’s.

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