Interviews for the SAPSASA Centenary publication – Alastair Young

Currently studying Medicine, Adelaide-born Alastair Young shares with us the memories of his multiple SAPSASA experiences.

Alastair recalled boarding a bus with his SAPSASA team mates, most of them barely into their teens, some never having been away from home, and heading off to the country on an adventure into the unknown.

“SAPSASA was a fantastic opportunity to mix with kids you wouldn’t normally meet, and engage in lifestyles that you wouldn’t normally experience, as a city kid here in Adelaide,” Alastair said.

“The social connections were the biggest thing; the sport was more…secondary,” Alastair said.

This social-view of his SAPSASA experiences rings true still, as Alastair remains in touch with a number of old team mates and billet families.

On the subject of billeting, which has been phased out of the SAPSASA experience, Alastair recalls only positive memories.

“One year, when I went away swimming, one of the guys in my team was a bit unsure of it [billeting], and hadn’t been away from home much.  We billeted together, so there were two of us with the one family and that was really good, we had a great time,” Alastair said.

“We stayed with two brothers and it was me and my teammate. That was great because he felt comfortable, and I think he went away after that on his own.”

Asked what he would tell prospective SAPSASA participants Alastair said, “I’d say ‘do it’! If you purely took the sporting aspect it’s positive, and when you add the social stuff it’s even better – that’s why I did it four or five times.”

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