William Le – Bentstix
Born in 1985 with a diagnosis of profound deafness, I’ve been most fond of gymnastics and fencing. I am active in kayaking, rock climbing, squash, swimming.
What gay and lesbian sporting clubs are you a member of?
I have been a member of Bentstix Gay and Lesbian Hockey Club for three years now.
When did you get involved?
I became involved so I could participate in the sport itself but by extension be able to make friends and attend get-togethers.
Who would you consider a mentor or role models in sport? Why?
Roger Federer. He’s such a nice guy, and his attitude, unfussed, laser-focused, yet simple, is one I can identify with. He is the most persistent, brilliant tennis player in recent memory.
What is your greatest sporting moment? Why?
Going to Melbourne for the [Asia Pacific] Games and being able to experience a sense of the surreal, on a relatively small yet exciting scale meant there was a taste of the bigger things to come. And you remember your first goal.
What motivates you to keep going?
I think the ‘finish line’ always motivates me to keep going.
Are you single or in a relationship? Does your partner participate in sport? Which one?
I’m in a two-pronged relationship, one long-term and the other just starting. Neither of my partners participates, but the latter wants to get fit with me — he thinks he’s fat.
How old were you when you began playing sport? Were you openly gay at this time?
If you mean school, it has always been that way. But independently, it was only [when] I was about 21 that I started to take an interest in gay sport. I have been openly gay [since I was] 14 years old.
Who is your biggest sports fan? How do they show their support for you?
I’d like to say my partner but he’s been to three of my games in the last three years, while one of my best friends has been to more games in one year than the former has!
What is your most embarrassing sports moment?
Since I have a disability, sometimes it stands to reason that it can give me a disadvantage. While I have always relied on sight, there have been instances where I ‘cockblocked’ a surefire winning goal because I wasn’t listening to what I thought the referee wanted.
Tell us about your ‘lucky jocks’, ‘winning shoes’, or some other special talisman.
During the Beijing Olympics I learnt that red was a lucky colour for China, and since they seemed to be topping the medal tally chart, I thought I could adopt the sentiment as well.
What would you do without your sport?
I’d be with Sydney Convicts.
Would you switch to another sport? If so, which one?
See above. But I could have a go at squash as well.
Tell us about your best sports night out ever.
Generally, one where you dance and dance without compunction, backed by a sense of unitary achievement, makes for a best sports night out.
How would you get readers interested in your sport?
There are always good surprises when you join a sport. The surprises can include forming long-lasting friendships, not just peripheral ones where you’re acquainted merely on the basis that you both wield a stick and can madly threaten an opponent with it.
What is the best thing about your sports club?
Team camaraderie. It’s casual, it’s familiar and we all suffer fools as much as victors. Most of all, you can feel like you belong to a community.