By Colin Hatch, Cornwall Under 20 Team Manager
Nat Dart is the current U20’s flyhalf and has featured in 2 of the 3 pool games this season. He missed the game v Gloucestershire as he was selected to represent England deaf 7’s in the World cup in Argentina.
Nat was born deaf and has had to learn how to play and adapt with the condition. He wears hearing aids and lip reads to assist him in his game play, and a scrum cap to protect the hearing aids.
Nat started his career in his home town of St Agnes with their Under 5’s. He then played at Falmouth colts, Truro College and is currently register with Camborne RFC.
Nat had a call to go for the trials and travelled to Moulton College in Northamptonshire along with several others hoping to make the final 12 players selected to travel to Argentina. His skills and personality shone through, and he was selected in the final 12 to represent England. He was also the youngest member of the squad so as is tradition he had the honour of carrying and guarding the team
mascot throughout his time away!
Argentina was a great experience being played in its second city Córdoba, with a population of about 1.4 million and is the capital of Cordoba province. Nat said the weather was hot, the steaks fantastic and he managed to find some liquid refreshments to keep himself hydrated.
England came third in the competition losing in the semi-final to the eventual winners Wales. He did receive a trophy but more importantly an England shirt and Cap. This is his first season playing with the U20’s and several other players he has played with in different age groups, Joe Walker, Wes Eddy, and Jack Statton, and it is great to be able to play with them competitively in the Jason Leonard Cup this
season. It is an enjoyable learning environment and a great way to finish the season says Nat.
Nat is studying Sports and Exercise Science at Cardiff Met University which is a 3-year course, and he hopes to put to good use in his future career. Nat would like to play rugby at the highest level his skills will allow and of course one day add a senior Cornwall tie to his collection.
Nat would like to put a big thanks out to both St Agnes and Perranporth rugby clubs who raised money to fund his trip to represent the England deaf squad.
In total he had to raise £1500 which is a considerable amount of money in these current times and from one of the poorest areas in the country. The thanks must also go to all the people who assisted Nat during his career and encouraging him to go for it, that starts from at home to all the teams mentioned above.
It just shows how from humble beginnings with a disability it is no bar to what you can achieve if you believe, make sacrifices, and are prepared to put in the work. Nat has certainly proved he has all those attributes and joins a long list of Cornwall players who have earned international honours.
The whole Cornwall U20 squad and the wider rugby community salute Nat for his achievements.