A new champion has emerged on the northern Gold Coast after his journey to the international sporting stage captured the hearts – and generosity – of the nation.
- Hudson “Huddy” Glubb won three medals at the World Dwarf Games
- Two years ago he was told he may never be able to play sports because he lives with achondroplasia
- Huddy is now setting his sights on the 2027 World Dwarf Games in Australia
Ten-year-old Hudson “Huddy” Glubb was one of about 40 athletes who competed for Australia in the World Dwarf Games in Cologne, Germany, this month.
While his journey was never expected to happen, his family’s last-ditch community fundraising effort surged to national prominence in February.
“[I was] like, ‘What is happening?'” said Huddy, who was born with achondroplasia.
“I’m on TV. I’m on every channel. What?”
After the fundraising effort was featured on major television networks and multiple radio stations, the Gold Coast community and broader Australia raised more than $20,000 to help Huddy win gold at the World Dwarf Games.
“I got 1st in basketball, 3rd in soccer, 3rd in relay,” he said.
‘Proud is an understatement’
Just two years ago, doctors told Huddy’s family he may never be able play sport due to complications associated with achondroplasia, a condition that impacts bone growth.
“When we first heard about [the World Dwarf Games] a year ago, it wasn’t going to happen,” Huddy’s mum Kerry Glubb said.
Huddy kept training and, after a childhood marked by medical procedures, he was eventually given the green light.
“Proud is an understatement,” Ms Glubb said.
Following a friend’s suggestion, Huddy was called up to represent Australia’s junior team at the World Dwarf Games this year.
Ms Glubb organised raffles, fitness challenges and online fundraising to pay for travel, equipment and accommodation.
“Everybody rallied behind us and the community and made it happen,” Ms Glubb said.
“The experiences and memories we have from that trip are irreplaceable — I’m just so grateful.”
But it was the opportunity to compete with kids of similar abilities that was so important.
“It was an even playing ground for once,” Ms Glubb said.
“Team sports are something he doesn’t really get to participate in and so to watch him play in a basketball team and soccer team with kids of his age and ability was priceless.”
When Huddy scored his first goal, Ms Glubb said “the look on his face was indescribable”.
“He ran straight to me, I gave him a hug, we fell on the floor together,” she said.
“The game was still going but we were just in our moment — it was so special.”
Huddy said he felt “excited and happy and proud” of himself.
“Thank you everyone for donating and helping me get to Germany,” he said.
Ms Glubb said the Games showed that Huddy and others like him that playing competitively was achievable.
“Just because of their height, it doesn’t stop them from participating in sport,” she said.
The 2027 World Dwarf Games are set to be held in Australia and Huddy, who is aiming to compete in powerlifting and archery, says there will be multiple home game advantages.
“[Germany] was cold and rainy and they speak different there,” he said.