Bendigo 2018 Young Citizen of the Year

Jontee Brown was on an overseas school excursion in 2015 when he fell into a sinkhole.

He was diagnosed with reactive arthritis in his left knee, which was caused by a cut that then became infected.

One effect triggered by Mr Brown’s reactive arthritis was ankylosing spondylitis in his lower spine.

Jontee spent seven weeks in hospital recovering and two year on, he continues to do physiotherapy two times a week. Jontee manages his disease with the use of crutches and a wheelchair for long trips.

As well as coaching junior football and basketball teams, Jontee travels to schools delivering his message to students teaching them that , ‘It isn’t what your dealt in life but how you chose to deal with it’ and how to overcome obstacles with a positive attitude.

Jontee took up wheelchair basketball in May 2016, representing the Victorian team as captain and recently represented Australia at a world competition in Canada where his under-23 team won bronze.

Last year he won the Michelson Bendigo Sports Star award and was recently honoured at the 2017 La Trobe University Blues Awards for his efforts on the basketball court.

Jontee is studying at the Bendigo Campus and is apart of the La Trobe Elite Athlete Program (LEAP).

Media enquiries: Kate O'Connor 5444 7415 or 0436 189 629 or k.o'

Photo courtesy of Bendigo Advertiser.