Winter 2018 Chair’s Report

On behalf of the membership I would like to congratulate our athletes who competed in the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.  Their results are listed elsewhere in this Pushers Post but I must mention the successes of Kurt Fearnley OAM and Madi de Rozario.  In his swansong in Australian colours Kurt won the wheelchair marathon and then had the honour of being selected to be the flag bearer for the Aussie team at the closing ceremony.


Madi was our standout performer winning the 1500m (Angie Ballard finalised second) and then she took out the women’s marathon.  Madi completed the trifecta one week later by winning the London Marathon.  Congratulations Madi, Kurt and our other WS NSW athletes who competed in the Commonwealth Games.


I can report an excellent launch of a WS NSW Bequest Program that I attended at Royal Rehab.  We have created a WS NSW Founders Circle and included in this are individuals who have indicated they are leaving a gift in their will to WS NSW.  The first inductees in this Founders Circle are Life Member Yvonne Talbott and Brendon Talbott and we thank them sincerely.  The launch was attended by 40 individuals made up of Life Members, Members, Board Members, Donors, Supporters, Volunteers and WS NSW Staff.  Could I particularly commend our Patron Louise Sauvage on her address which was both moving and powerful.  Louise talked about the “family” of wheelchair sports and how this provides such as strong bond for our members.


A Golf Day at St Michael’s Gold Course on the 2nd May was our first fundraiser event of this year.  Close to 120 golfers attended and we were appreciative of WS NSW Ambassador Brian Fletcher (Fletch) of Rugby League fame who organised a number of teams on the day.  We are very thankful to Charity Challenge Golf, in particular Gary Dawson and Matt Laverty who have conducted our Golf Day for over 10 years. Also to our Golf Day sponsor Tom Goudkamp from Stacks Goudkamp Law Firm we are very appreciative for the long term sponsorship.


Our other upcoming fundraiser events for the year include a Race Day at Rosehill Racecourse on Saturday 25th August.  This is run by the ASX Reuters Foundation who incidentally have come on board again for another year as a supporter of WS NSW.  This Foundation assists 24 charities and WS NSW has been on their books longer than most, if not all, of the other charities.  Our last fundraiser of the year is a corporate luncheon in the city on Friday 19th October.


Finally, our friend and CEO of Royal Rehab Stephen Lowndes is moving on after 10 years.  WS NSW has been situated in the grounds of Royal Rehab for the past 28 years and Stephen has been very supportive in his time in the CEO’s role.  We wish him the very best.  The new CEO is Matthew Mackay who has been Chief Operating Officer of Royal Rehab for the past year.


We hope to see as many members as possible at our upcoming AGM on Monday 25th June at Royal Rehab.



 Jason Preston

Chair Wheelchair Sports NSW


To read the full Pusher’s Post, click here

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