Southern suburbs resident gets ready to represent Australia on Vision Impaired Futsal team

d495920a Palmyra resident Steffan Nero has been selected to represent Australia. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
d495920a Palmyra resident Steffan Nero has been selected to represent Australia. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

STEFFAN Nero does not let the challenges of life get in the way of achieving sporting success.

The Palmyra resident (20) is travelling with the Australian Vision Impaired Futsal Team to England from October 6 to 18.

The five-game series includes two games at St George’s Park, which is the English Football Association’s national football centre.

Nero is classed as legally blind and was born with an eye condition called congenital nystagmus, which includes involuntary movements of the eyes, making his sight blurry.

Juggling a double degree in Behavioural Science and Law at the University of Notre Dame, Nero has also represented Australia in goalball and blind cricket.

After previously giving up playing soccer to focus on the two sports, he decided to give futsal a go during the middle of last year.

“The first camp was in July in Sydney and then we went to Malaysia in September and played a three-game series,” he said.

“It’s very exciting to go to England; they are a very good team so it will be a challenging but exciting experience.”

d495920h Steffan Nero. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

With no structured program, Nero trains by himself while also juggling goalball and blind cricket training.

“You have to find a way to balance things and with soccer I don’t need to go anywhere because it’s in the backyard or down the road,” he said.

“You try to train smart instead of doing long training sessions; you try to do short, sharp sessions.”

Nero said being born with the eye condition was a difficult situation for his family but sport had helped him.

“I was born with it,” he said. “I could not see at all and then my mum tells this story where I hit my head and I got my vision back; it’s pretty weird.

“It was pretty traumatic for my parents but now I have an attitude about getting on with it.

“Sport has really helped because you meet a lot of people who are similar to you and have the same goals and aspirations.”