Former Gloucester resident, Damian Martin has fulfilled a basketball career dream after Australia won the gold medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
He was part of the men’s basketball team, who finished their campaign at the top of the leaderboard after downing Canada 87 to 47 in the final at the Gold Coast and Convention Centre on Sunday, April 15.
“It feels incredible to be a Commonwealth Games gold medalist,” Damian said.
“And to win on home soil with family and friends in the stands makes it even more special.”
Damian was joined by his wife, Brittany and daughter Maggie during the preliminary games held in Cairns.
They formed part of Damian’s own personal cheer squad with his mother-in-law, Bronia, sister-in-law, Sarah and nephew, Nick cheer also there to cheer him on.
After finishing the qualifying games undefeated, having beaten Canada, New Zealand and Nigeria at the Cairns Convention Centre, Damian and the team boarded a flight to the Gold Coast.
There his cheer squad grew with the addition of his parents, Gloucester residents Ray and Anne Martin, two of his siblings, along with their children.
“And Gloucester’s best baker, Steven Hebblewhite,” Damian said.
Damian had a bit of time off before the semi-finals, taking time out enjoy the atmosphere of the games, check out a few of the other sports and fit in a bit of training.
On Saturday, April 14 Australia faced Scotland in the semi-finals, where they won 103 to 46, setting up the clash against Canada in the golf medal match.
“I’ve had so many messages wishing me luck or congratulating me throughout the tournament from friends in Gloucester,” Damian said.
I’ve had so many messages wishing me luck or congratulating me throughout the tournament from friends in GloucesterDamian Martin
“I can’t wait to get home and celebrate with each and every one of them.”
Damian’s dad, Ray said the games were an amazing to watch and it was great environment to be a part of.
“It was a big family event,” Ray explained. “With all the other players and their families.”
Some of the players have been playing together for over many years and winning the gold medal was something they all celebrated, Ray said.
Both Ray and his wife Anne, were thrilled to be able to watch their son win gold on home soil.
It’s the first time Damian has taken part in the Commonwealth Games, having to give up a chance to play in 2006 after breaking his wrist falling off a horse in Gloucester.
Back then he was one of the youngest players and this time, he was one of the oldest.