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For 32 years, Tim Zammit has battled an undiagnosed medical condition affecting his coordination and speech. He has fewer reasons for positivity than most, but carries on with a smile that can light up a room.

"Why be sad when there’s so much around to enjoy?", he says.

Family, friends, movies, and of course, his beloved Parramatta Eels.

Watch and vote for Blue. But still Golden. at the Focus on Ability Short Film Festival!

At 13 years of age, Tim begun to experience difficulty with walking, and doctors detected a lesion in his cerebellum. The rare condition, which remains medically undiagnosed, has impaired his coordination and speech for his entire adolescence and adulthood, and confined him to a wheelchair for all of high school.

He is unable to play sport, ride a bike, or run – activities he loved throughout his childhood, but had stripped away from him by his condition.

With all the difficulties he faces, Tim's life could easily be grey. Instead, he chooses to paint his days with colour, particularly the Blue & Gold of the Parramatta Eels.

"All sporting events are out of the question – supporting is a different story," he says with a grin.

Tim has been an Eels member for 23 years, but supported Parramatta for as long as he can remember, dating all the way back to the glory days of the 1980s. It is a "rare occurrence" to not find him at home games cheering on the team.

Watch and vote for Blue. But still Golden. at the Focus on Ability Short Film Festival!

His favourite player, who he had the opportunity to meet in a recent visit to the Parramatta Eels' headquarters, is Junior Paulo.

"The biggest reason is he's a massive family guy," Tim says.

"That's exactly how I am with my family, too. You can talk to my brother or sisters, when their kids are around I am totally focussed on them."

Tim's story was recently documented in a short film by his brother Damian Zammit and filmmaker Matthew WF Wells, tilted Blue. But still Golden.

Blue. But still Golden. is in the running for the Open-Entrants Documentaries category at the Focus on Ability Short Film Festival, which was founded to shine a light on people with disabilities through film.

The documentary tells Tim's story from his own perspective, highlighting his love of family, film, and the Eels.

Watch and vote for Blue. But still Golden. at the Focus on Ability Short Film Festival!

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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