Meet some of our members..
Declan was born with a Spina Bifida which means he needs a wheelchair to get around. “I love sports but I can’t play regular sports like the other kids because of my disability. I often felt a bit left out. However when I was 8 I started swimming in carnivals for kids with disabilities and then I tried wheelchair basketball. This was awesome. A few years ago I went to a ‘Come and Try’ day and I jumped into a racing chair. I love racing and my first competition was in Canberra in 2006. One day I want to race in marathons in big cities like New York and London. I love wheelchair racing and lately I have tried handcycling. Without the support from Wheelchair Sports NSW I would have never had this opportunity.”
was born with a genetic disorder called lower limb neuropathy which means that his legs aren’t strong enough to hold him up.
Josh didn’t use a wheelchair until he started high school but once he was in a chair he discovered wheelchair basketball, playing for the Alexandria team for a couple of years and then the Sydney Uni WheelKings for the last 5 years. Josh’s goal is to one day play for Australia in the Australian Men’s Wheelchair Basketball team (the Rollers) and to become a primary school teacher, teaching children with special needs.
was born with Spina Bifida and played wheelchair tennis for the first time at a Wheelchair Sports NSW Come–N-Try Day Clinic when he was 13 years of age. He was encouraged by former wheelchair tennis players Mick Connell and David Hall, both of whom he currently trains with today. Stephan continues to improve striving to reach his full potential and participating in tournaments overseas and in many parts of Australia. His motto is to “Have a Go”
and his goal is to represent Australia at the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil. But while Stephan has achieved a great deal, he says that if it were not for his coach Kathy Fahim, the generous support and funding from WS NSW and most especially the love and support of his parents, he would not be where he is today.
Reagan was born with a genetic condition called Achondroplasia which results in an abnormally short stature with disproportionately short limbs. Reagan has been competing at Multi Class swimming events since the age of 7, when he was asked to swim at the Catholic Primary Schools swimming championships. Since then, each year he has attended the multi classification events representing Wheelchair Sports NSW. In 2009 Reagan competed at his first major event in Melbourne at the Junior National Games. Over the past two years, Reagan has stepped up his training to 10 times a week, including pool, gym and boxing sessions. Reagan’s goal is to continue his training and hopefully qualify for the Paralympics.
was involved in a car accident, at the young age of 9. As the result he became a paraplegic; he also lost his brother that night, due to the accident. His sister and mother Tracy survived, though they were left with significant injuries. Colin was introduced to Wheelchair Sports by his Occupational Therapist. Colin tried out Wheelchair tennis and Lawn Bowls but neither sport suited him well. He then decided to try out for Wheelchair Basketball and absolutely fell in love with the sport. He quickly became addicted and tried out for the NSW juniors and to his delight he was picked for the team – “his world just opened up for him”. Basketball has enabled Colin to travel to every state in Australia and set his sights overseas. His social scene has widened with new and lasting friendships.
is an 19 year old indigenous junior from Darwin. He was born with a fibular limb deficiency in both lower legs which makes it difficult for him to walk. After struggling to compete against able-bodied basketball athletes in his home town, CJ’s family enrolled him in the 2007 National Junior Games for Athletes with a Disability held in Sydney. Showing great potential in wheelchair basketball, CJ was offered a scholarship to St Ignatius College, Riverview in order for him to progress with wheelchair basketball and further his studies in NSW. CJ has accomplished a lot in the 2.5 years he has been a WS NSW member, including a starter position in the National League team the Sydney Uni Wheel Kings.
was 7 years old when she became an incomplete quadriplegic, along with her sister Ashlea, as a result of a motor vehicle accident. Tragically Jessica and Ashlea lost their mother in this accident. Jessica also spent 2 weeks in intensive care and 4 months in rehab before returning home to try to rebuild her life. Jessica’s passion is wheelchair basketball. She was introduced to wheelchair sports at the Wheelchair Sports NSW Junior Christmas Camp when she was 9 and started playing basketball at age 12. After her first Junior Nationals, Jess was asked to play in the Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball League for the Hills Hornets – at age 12! Jess is now an integral member of the team (now the Sydney Uni Flames). Her main aim now is to make it to a Paralympic Games.
was born with a club foot which restricts how much physical activity he can participate in. Andy’s family recently moved to Sydney so he could have further opportunities and access to coaching in wheelchair tennis. At the age of 13 Andy is playing wheelchair tennis up to three times a week and is being coached by former world number 1 David Hall in a group session on Wednesdays and Mick Connell (former world number 2) once a month. Andy has been selected into the Wheelchair Tennis Talented Athlete Program (TAP). The program aims to develop and improve the essential fundamental skills of our emerging wheelchair tennis athletes and prepare them for future participation at national and international level. Andy would love the opportunity to travel overseas to gain international experience and earn more points to insure his place in the ITF rankings
was born without the major bone below her knee on her right leg. When she was 17 months old she had her right foot amputated. Since then she has worn a prosthetic leg. Due to her growth she requires 3 prosthetic legs a year. It has never stopped or restricted Sarah from trying new sports and activities. At 3 years of age she started gymnastics. Upon starting school she became involved in athletics and swimming. A few years ago Sarah attended a Wheelchair Sports NSW Come–n-Try day and played basketball in a wheelchair for the first time. She now plays wheelchair basketball once a week, competing in Wheelchair Basketball Leagues and has been supported by Wheelchair Sports NSW with a sports wheelchair.
has a form of cerebral palsy called spastic diplegia and is not able to walk independently, but he has reasonable upper body control and fine motor skills. He is heavily involved in his community, which his family sees as vital and helps him to enjoy a normal and regular life. He is also a fine swimmer, loves to play basketball and he always does well at school carnivals in discus and shot put. He doesn’t let the fact that he has cerebral palsy and has to use a wheelchair get in his way. “I don’t throw discus with my legs”, he says. He’s outgoing, has a good sense of humor, loves to write and is a talented young sportsman. His hobbies enable him to connect with his peers and build his confidence for the future. Wheelchair Sports NSW has played an important role in Jye’s life in helping him achieve his dreams.
is 19 years old and was born with a disability with limited range of motion in his legs, which requires him to use a wheelchair. He became involved with wheelchair sports after one of Wheelchair Sports NSW Roadshow presenters visited his school to speak about road safety. Keegan now works part time at Wheelchair Sports NSW as a Roadshow presenter. Keegan describes himself as a sports nut and says that playing sports has helped him to become a healthier person and build self-confidence and independence.
Keegan plays at national level for Wheelchair Basketball and represents Australia in Wheelchair Tennis. Playing sports has enabled Keegan to travel all over the world competing in tournaments. He now aims for the Paralympics in London and beyond.
life was changed forever on Australia Day 2008. He was left a quadriplegic after falling from a rope swing and hitting his head onto a sand bar in the Murray River at Oddies Park. Dylan damaged his spinal cord, having no feeling below his C6 vertebra and only about 40 per cent movement in each arm. Dylan maintained a positive attitude, though he admits that he was terrified of never been able to play sport again. He threw himself into wheelchair rugby after seeing members of wheelchair rugby squad training. “I really love sport and wheelchair rugby gets my frustration out of me,” he says. Dylan’s dream is to be chosen for the Australian Team, the Steelers.