A recent charity night has helped a Benalla man achieve his goals of reaching the 2018 Winter Paralympics in South Korea.
Held on October 28, Mark’s Hopes for the Slopes left Australian sit-skier champion and former Benalla resident Mark Soyer speechless.
‘‘How to say thanks for a night?.,.. It has left me stunned, in shock, humbled and completely overwhelmed,’’ he said.
‘‘It was an event that went off seamlessly and without a hitch.
‘‘It was chiefed by a few family and close friends, but supported by many and absolutely backed by a community I am proud to have grown up in.’’
Although not his current mailing address, he said Benalla would ‘‘always be home’’.
The fundraising night has helped Soyer on his way to raising $26700.
A total he said had given him perspective on the sport he loved.
‘‘After being in elite sport for a while you soon realise it’s not solely about the end result, as you have to get there first.
‘‘It may be you competing on the world stage, but you need support crew to help get you there,’’ he said.
‘‘My support crew have always been my family and some great mates, who effortlessly do whatever, whenever to keep me competing.’’
Soyer said he wanted to say ‘‘the biggest, massive’’ thanks to everyone involved in his fundraising.
‘‘Mum and Dad are absolute bloody legends, as getting to South Korea and competing will be definitely a pinnacle in my life,’’ he said.
‘‘I hope to put in a solid performance as my support crew have done so many times before for me.’’
In the mean time Mark has flown out to Austria and is training for his first race in Pitzta in the Europa Cup on December 7 and 8.