Life isn’t the same for Martyn without sport

By Riverine Herald

SPORT plays a big role in the life of Echuca’s Martyn Lawrence.

Despite being confined to a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy, Martyn never lets disability define who he is.

He is an active member of the community who regularly attends gym sessions and plays a large role in local football.

But the coronavirus pandemic gripping the world has taken this all away from Martyn.

In his own words, he describes the feelings he has been left with.

“I am completely lost, I have written numerous times before I watch sport to escape my reality of having cerebral palsy and due to the world pandemic, my happy place has been taken away from me and everyone else,” he said.

“What would winter look like without footy? It’s a question I have never really thought about until now.

“Over the winter, my weekends are dominated by football. Because of my eyesight, I prefer to listen to games rather than watch them, I listen to as many games as I possibly can.

“During the country football season, I am part of the commentary team for a local radio station, my local radio commentary role is the highlight of my week.

“Local football is such a part of life in Australia, this year there is a very real prospect of every sport being cancelled for several months thanks to the pandemic.

“COVID-19 is causing havoc around the world. I have resigned myself to the fact that I most likely will not be able to join my colleagues on radio this year and if I am honest, I am upset.

“Obviously I understand that football and sport is not the biggest issue in the world right now, but it’s going to feel strange if there are no games this year.

“Without football it will honestly feel like part of the fabric of Australia is missing.

“I am sure that one day sport will return to normal with fans and atmosphere, but we don’t know when that day will be.

“Football and sport is such a big part of my life.

“I’m not sure when everything will return to normal but when it does I promise I will be celebrating and I am sure there will be thousands of people who will feel the same way.”