Sunday is special for ECC’s Olympic guest!

With the Paris Olympics only days away, the opportunity to welcome an Olympic hopeful was too good to miss for ECC staffer Mr John Taylor. Sunday Dech, originally from the African country of South Sudan and now an Australian resident, spoke to the ECC students about his Christian faith, journey from Africa to Australia, and Olympic dream.

How can a sporting star impact the lives of young people?

ECC staffer Mr John Taylor is widely known in Ellenbrook for his sporting prowess. A few years ago, the long-term SCEA staffer tasted success in the State Basketball League (SBL) as a member of the premiership-winning East Perth Eagles. Sunday Dech, a fellow Christian, was on that team.

“The opportunity to host such an amazing athlete and special person like Sunday Dech is truly an honour for me and the Ellenbrook Christian College community,” said Mr Taylor.

After emigrating from the world’s poorest country (South Sudan), Sunday Dech moved to Perth, Western Australia. His amazing athletic ability was immediately spotted and he worked hard to secure a spot in the SBL with John Taylor’s East Perth team. They won the title, and he then elevated his game to the National Basketball League with the Perth Wildcats. His play was so good that his birth nation, South Sudan, requested his talents for their national team, and he is now on his way to the Paris Olympics with the tiny African country, having qualified in September 2023 after defeating Angola in an African qualifying match.

“A commitment to hard work and dedication will achieve much,” said Sunday as he spoke of the determination to reach a country that would enable him to pursue his lifelong dream of professional basketball.

“Winning is hard, and it takes a lot of hard work.”

His words initially spoke of his exploits on the basketball court, but they moved into the areas of life and faith.

The ECC Worship Band played some of their best-known Christian choruses for Sunday and the combined group of Year 10-12 students, with the South Sudanese export showing his appreciation for the ability to sing and praise God freely – something we take for granted in Australia with our freedom of religion and association laws.

Keep an eye out for Sunday playing for South Sudan at the Paris Olympics, beginning on July 28 at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium, Lille!

PS. SCEA may need to send Mr John Taylor and the ECC Cheer Squad for moral support!

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