‘He’s never forgiven me’: Mother’s touching tribute to lost son
CHRIS Dicker spent his life coaching and helping Gold Coast youth teams involved in the sports which his severe epilepsy prevented him playing himself.
Yesterday, those basketball and rugby league teams showered tributes on the passionate 28-year-old found dead at Tallebudgera Creek after his family suspect he had a seizure kayaking.
The outpouring from members of the Coombabah Clippers and Gold Coast Seahawks basketball teams plus Burleigh Bears rugby league club overwhelmed his mother Debbie Williamson.
The heartbroken Robina woman, speaking to the Bulletin soon after said Burleigh Bears club mates found his body at 6.20am yesterday.
"It's just so amazing to hear how much my son has achieved," she said.
"Some of the fathers have sent me photos and clippings of him of what he has done for them.
"Chris pushed himself into helping their kids achieve whatever they wanted to achieve."
One touching tribute to Mr Dicker's Facebook yesterday came from Gold Coaster Jasmine Hunter who wrote: "RIP Chris. Such a passionate coach and great guy, you were one of my first coaches at Clippers and always knew how to have a laugh with me.
"Thoughts are with you and your family."
Chris had always been deeply passionate about sport but at a young age started experiencing epileptic seizures.
He was a keen rugby player but by 12 his seizures had become uncontrollable and his mother removed him from playing.
He tried basketball, which she said he fell in love with, but it didn't last long either.
Unable to play sport, he spent the next 16 years watching from the sidelines and dedicating all of his time to helping other kids achieve their sporting dreams.
Ms Williamson: "He became very disheartened (he couldn't play). I had to take him out because he kept having seizures. He's never forgiven me.
"I said to him 'Ok, let's forget about playing because it's not working for you - why don't you approach (coaches) and see if you can help'. That's what he did and that's how he started."
Asked if she felt he had been so passionate about volunteering and coaching sports due to not being able to take part on field himself, Ms Williamson agreed: "I think he's so mesmerised by what they can do and he can't do it."
As a teenager, he completed his certificate one in coaching before getting a certificate two and three and started helping with the North Gold Coast Seahawks and Coombabah Clippers.
Two years ago, he added sideline duties for the Burleigh Bears.
His dedication and commitment to the clubs and teams has left a lasting impact.
Friend and basketball coach Ricardo Lawyer posted to Facebook yesterday that "Chris was the guy who was always looking for his place in the clubs rep program".
"He would eventually end up by my side year after year helping me coach whatever team I had.
"He was annoying on the side but I heard everything he said and took it in.
"Before big games he had the habit of telling me how good the opposition was and had each players stats to back it up.
"If we were on the road, I had to flip the whole conversation to how good we were so that the two-hour drive wasn't about them.
"He called me at all hours. Sometimes he was doing stats at 2am and had a query.
"Usually it was strategy related - drills to help a kid, what did I think certain players needed to do.
"He was a sponge for basketball knowledge," Mr Lawyer wrote.
North Gold Coast Seahawks basketball president Ben McGrath, in a statement yesterday, said: "It's on a sad note I am writing to our Seahawks community to inform you of the passing of Chris Dicker after what appears a kayaking mishap at Tallebudgera," he said.
"Chris has been a long-time coach for the Coombabah Clippers and prior to that the Gold Coast Wildcats, helping many kids enjoy their basketball journey.
"He was a dedicated volunteer who injected himself wherever was needed for both his clubs and for the Seahawks in both our Junior and Senior Seahawks programs.
"His passion for basketball and our Association could certainly not be faulted.
"We pass on our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family and friends and will offer support where we can to those affected."
A Coombabah Clippers Basketball Club statement read: "It is with the deepest sadness that we inform you of the passing of an amazing coach and good friend.
"Chris touched so many lives and invested in more people than we can begin to know.
"Clippers honours you, Chris.
"We would not be the club we are today without you. You will be sorely missed by all of us."