Dylan Alcott’s first serve at RMIT Sport Leadership series

Dylan Alcott’s first serve at RMIT Sport Leadership series

Dual gold medallist and 10-time grand slam champion Dylan Alcott OAM presented to RMIT students and staff last week for the first of five parts in a new online leadership series.

Developed to give students and staff an opportunity to engage with diverse sporting personalities, the leadership series aims to spur self-development and connectivity.

Alcott is currently ranked number one in the world, has won gold in both wheelchair basketball (2008, Beijing) and wheelchair tennis (2016, Rio), and has 10 quad singles grand slam titles and six doubles grand slam titles.

He’s also the founder of the Dylan Alcott Foundation, whose purpose is to help young Australians with disabilities with self-esteem and achieve their dreams.

Dylan Alcott, OAM Dylan Alcott, OAM.

Alcott shared the importance of having a passion and purpose in life and how that defines his personal determination for success.

“If you’re passionate about something, you’ll be good at it. If you’re good at it, you’ll be successful,” he said.

“We worry about cars, houses, clothes and holidays, but we don’t genuinely ask ourselves ‘Am I enjoying doing what I’m doing every single day’.

“Why waste your life doing something you don’t enjoy doing?”

Alcott discovered his purpose was changing perceptions around people with disabilities in our community, which lead him to switch from basketball to tennis in 2014.

Wheelchair tennis is one of the highest profiles of all Paralympic sports, with over 150 tournaments across 40 countries in every region of the world.

“There still is this stigma that people with a disability are broken, less capable, unemployable, undatable, can’t have sex, aren’t consumers, don’t go to university, can’t do sport, can’t do anything,” Alcott said.

“Tennis gives me the profile to do what I’m most passionate about, which is to change the perceptions about people with a disability in our community.

“If I go out and there’s no ramps, that’s annoying. But I tell you the hardest thing to get over is the lack of expectation of what people think you can do.”

Dylan Alcott presening to more than 100 RMIT students and staff online Dylan Alcott presented the first RMIT Sport Leadership Series.

More than 100 people attended the first of the five-part online leadership series, including RMIT Elite Athlete and first year Bachelor of Space Science student Lucy Cripps.

Cripps is an exciting all rounder for the Melbourne Stars and Victorian Cricket Team, playing a key role in Vic Country winning the Under 18 Female National Championships last season.

“Dylan was really awesome – he seems like an incredible dude,” Cripps said.

“I found it really inspiring to hear how he’s making the best of his situation and his positive perspective on life is something we can all learn from.”

Meeting other Paralympic athletes taught Alcott the importance of having a positive perception, which Dylan said is critical during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s not the events in life that dictate the life you live, it’s how you perceive those events that determines the path you take,” Alcott said.

“We’re all going through some stuff right now and it’s hard, but for every single thing I can’t do, there’s tens of thousands of other things I can do.”

The RMIT Sport Leadership series continues on 12 August with Cricket Australia Men’s Coach Justin Langer.

Langer played over 100 tests for Australia, scoring 7,696 runs and 23 test centuries.

He also coached the 2019 Ashes series win in England – the first time an Australian side has retained the Ashes in England since 2003.

You can register your interest here.

Upcoming leadership series:

Justin Langer - 12th August, 2020: Register here

Daisy Pearce - 26th August, 2020: Register here

Matthew Mitcham - 9th September, 2020: Register here

Lydia Lassila (RMIT Alumni) - 23rd September, 2020: Register here


Story: Caleb Scanlon

05 August 2020


05 August 2020


  • Sport
  • Student experience

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