Debbie delighted with coveted award
SPECIAL OLYMPICS: Debbie Knust's devotion to Special Olympics Australia has been rewarded.
She received the Long Service Award for her 30 years of service to the organisation.
"It's wonderful to have received it and am very humbled," Knust said.
Her son Adam is a multi-talented sportsman who has represented Queensland in soccer and is one of several athletes who proudly represent the Special Olympics Gladstone crew.
Knust said SOA has grown considerably during her tenure.
"We have an amazing amount of athletes now and it gives young adults an opportunity in creating friendships," she said.
"It has also provided confidence for my son."
A trip overseas last year was arguably the biggest highlight.
"We went to World Games in Abu Dhabi last year and I was the SOA head of delegation," Knust said.
"We took 105 athletes there."
Knust took time off in her role with SOG in 2019 because of her involvement in the Abu Dhabi event.
"It was full on last year but I will still be involved with Special Olympics Gladstone," she said.
"I'm hoping to be at the next World Games in 2023."
Knust said the many national games that she attended had been highlights as well.
"They were in Newcastle, Adelaide, the Trans-Tasman in Cairns in 2012 and swimming carnival in Canberra," she said.
Knust worked with an organisation to help people with disabilties in Brisbane in the 1980s.
"There was someone who was keen for the residents to start sport," she said.
"We then had annual sports days and I heard about Special Olympics which provided the athletes to win medals."
History was made as Knust was a part of the first Special Olympic Queensland team that competed in the first Special Olympics Australia National Games in Launceston.
"It was the start of a great journey for me," she said.