Damian Martin to play for the Australian Boomers in the 2018 Commonwealth Games

Damian Martin during a 'Green and Gold' scrimmage game ahead of team selection for the 2016 Rio Olympics on July 9, 2016 in Melbourne. Photo Michael Dodge
Damian Martin during a 'Green and Gold' scrimmage game ahead of team selection for the 2016 Rio Olympics on July 9, 2016 in Melbourne. Photo Michael Dodge

It’s not the first time former Gloucester resident Damian Martin has had the opportunity to play for Australia in the Commonwealth Games, but hopefully this time he’ll make the event.

In 2006 when Melbourne hosted the Commonwealth Games, Damian had been selected to play as a young man “on the senior stage for the first time.”

It would have been a chance for him to gain some experience on a new level.

However, it wasn’t meant to be.

“I fell off a horse in Gloucester and broke my wrist,” Damian said. “So I missed out on playing.”

Australia went on to win the first ever Commonwealth Games gold medals in both the men's and women's competitions.

On Wednesday, March 7 he achieved another milestone in his basketball career by being named as part of the 2018 Commonwealth Games Australian basketball team, and this time, 12 years after being named as one of the youngest, he will be heading to the Gold Coast as one of the oldest.

“Safe to say, I won’t be riding any horses between now and the opening ceremony,” he joked.

Damian acknowledges how rare this opportunity is to play in the games as basketball isn’t always part of the event. This will be the second time the sport has been included, Melbourne being the first.

The host nation may apply for the inclusion of a maximum of four team sports, and as in the case for the 2006 games, Australia once again asked to include basketball.

Damian will be joining the Boomers in early April to play the robin round games in Cairns before heading to the Gold Coast for the finals.

His wife and 18 month old daughter will be with him for the entire campaign, while his parents, Ray and Anne Martin, who still live in Gloucester, will be heading up to the Gold Coast to watch him play.

“We’re really excited to watch him play for Australia on home soil,” Ray said.

For Damian: “It would be a very special moment in my career if we were to win gold.”

Damian played for the Australian Boomers during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.