Dedicated barely skims the surface when describing this 30-year-old Rosebud Paralympian. Heath Davidson doesn’t stop and won’t stop. He’s training six days a week, and we’re sure he’d sneak in a Sunday session if he could – a training session, that is. There’s no alcohol in sight now he’s in full training mode after winning the quad wheelchair doubles final with his tennis partner, friend and mentor Dylan Alcott at the 2018 Australian Open.
“I celebrated with friends for a few days,” says Heath. “There were a few cheeky beers, but now I’m back to training again.”
The next goal? Well it’s “goals” – plural. There are a few competitions in the US before he heads to the Korean Open, then Japan and the European tour for the World Team Cup in the Netherlands.
“Dylan and I won it two years ago, and we can’t wait to do Australia proud by winning it again. But Wimbledon is the big one. It will be an honour to wear all white for the first time. I just have to keep training hard and get results.”
Heath played as a junior for four years from the age of 14 before taking time off to “enjoy my 20s”. He returned to the sport to win gold at the 2016 Rio Paralympics and took out the 2016 ITF World Team Cup in Tokyo with Dylan.
“I didn’t know if I’d be good enough to go back to it. Ultimately, I was scared to go back and fail – but I finally took the chance and the results have spoken for themselves.”
Heath has also developed a passion for motivational speaking, inspiring those with disabilities to get into sport – something he felt was lacking when he was a junior. “Knowing that I can help someone, that’s awesome. I kind of say, ‘If I can do it, well, so can you’.”
Taking part in a show-and-tell for wheelchair-bound schoolboy Sonny, 6, and his classmates was something Heath described as an honour. “I want to normalise disabilities, and if it gets him happy then I’m more than happy to do it.”
What a champ!