When twin brothers MJ and Tyson Parbs travelled across the Tasman this week to represent their state, mum Nicole was filled with pride for how far her sons have come.
The 16-year-old twins represented Tasmania in the National Cricket Inclusion Championships in Geelong, playing in the state’s intellectual disability team.
For Nicole, who has seen the challenges both boys faced throughout their childhood, it’s an achievement she is delighted with.
“As a parent I always hoped, but I never thought they’d get here, I’m just so proud.”
Both MJ and Tyson were diagnosed with an intellectual disability at six, after their parents noticed they weren’t reaching the major developmental milestones.
The twins have attended mainstream schools throughout their life, but have had to overcome several challenges along the way.
Two years ago, they joined the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and are now receiving funding for social participation – they attend regular camps and outdoor activities – and support workers who teach the boys skills like cooking and shopping.
Nicole says the support has been a big help for their family, particularly as they can tailor the support to their needs.
“The NDIS is helping to make a real difference and both boys now have the support they need, and we can tailor it around their interests, especially cricket.”
The twins only started cricket a year ago but have quickly become avid players, playing weekly for the Huonville Bulls U16 team.
MJ says the sport is a great way for them to have fun, and the progression to state level is something he is proud of.
“Playing for the Bulls is a great way for us to practice our skills and get ready for the bigger events, we meet new people and have fun.
“It’s a really big deal for me and my brother, when we first stayed playing cricket we thought we would never get there but we’ve put in the extra work and effort and here we are!”
Tyson echoed his brother’s sentiments.
“I love the competition and a bit of a challenge, I think it’s pretty cool that we got to represent Tasmania.”
The National Cricket Inclusion Championships showcased Australia’s most talented blind and low vision and deaf and hard of hearing cricketers, and cricketers with an intellectual disability. The event was held in Geelong, Victoria from 20-25 January 2019.
The NDIS provides Australians under the age of 65 with a permanent and significant disability the supports they need to live an ordinary life and to increase their social and economic participation. The NDIS is now providing support to more than 250,000 Australians.