September 2017

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Disability Sport and Recreation Awards wrap-up

The Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards ceremony was held on August 17 at PwC, Southbank. 

The Awards recognise the achievements of people with disability, those who support them and the inclusive sport and recreation sector across the state.

You can find the full list of winners on our website.

There was also some great media coverage of our finalists and winners:

Read about Ben Peacock, finalist for Coach of the Year, in the Cranbourne Leader.

Read about Dennis Ramsay, finalist for Volunteer of the Year, in The Border Mail.

Read about Hannah MacDougall and Isis Holt, finalist and winner (respectively) of Deakin University Female Sportsperson of the Year, in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Read about Alana Baldi, winner of Volunteer of the Year, in the Shepparton News.

Read about Access All Abilities Sport Ballarat, winner of Initiative of the Year, on the Sports Central website

A huge thank you to our event sponsors who made the night possible – Deakin University, the Carbine Club, the Taxi Services Commission, City of Melbourne, Protect, VicHealth, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Jetaway Travel, AIA, Aligned Leisure and Print Supply.

CyclePower 2018 – Sri Lanka here we come!

A group of five cyclists - two are riding hand cycles

After a fabulous tour of Bali in June this year, we're excited to announce that we're already planning our destination for March 2018 – Sri Lanka.

Join a group of like-minded people who are passionate about cycling, travel and making a difference, for an unforgettable 10-day cycling adventure through nearly 500km of Sri Lanka's incredible landscapes.

It was voted #4 for 'Destination of the Decade' after all!

The CyclePower initiative empowers people with disability to show the world that physical activity is for everyone – no matter your ability.

You'll be riding alongside people with, and without, disability who are passionate about positive health outcomes for people with disability both at home and abroad.

Interested? Come along to our information night and hear from long-time CyclePower rider and ambassador, Gary, as well as our on-the-ground Sri Lankan cycling expert.

When: 6:30pm, Tuesday 19th September

Where: DSR headquarters, 341 George Street Fitzroy.

If you can't make it, register your interest on our website and we'll send you an information pack.

Expressions of interest for the 2017 Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Festival now open

Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Festival logo

The Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Festival is a community event that promotes and celebrates physically active lifestyles for people of all abilities.

This year's festival will be held on Friday 1 December at Crown Riverwalk.

Expressions of interest (EOI) are now open for exhibitors who would like to be part of the festival.

If you would like to share information about your accessible sport or recreational activities with thousands of Victorians with disability, please fill out a short EOI form on our website.

Spaces are limited and priority will be given to organisations that can offer hands-on, interactive experiences.

Applications close Thursday 28 September, with successful organisations being notified by Monday 2 October.

If you have any questions, contact Melanie Page on or call the office on (03) 9473 0133.

Congratulations to the graduates of our Future Leaders Program

Group of Future Leader Program participants

We launched the Future Leaders Program in September 2016 as a new initiative designed to help young people with disability increase their self-confidence and independence, plan for the future and contribute to their sporting club or community.

Over the past year, 12 future leaders have developed their leadership skills through the common medium of sport and recreation, with the help of our dedicated team of mentors and the program sponsor, Newsboys Foundation.

We are incredibly proud and can't wait to see what the future holds for them.

Read the full story on our website.

Trevor shaves it all off for a good cause

Two men shaking hands

We recently caught up with Trevor Hirth, Australian Para Table Tennis Athlete, who chose us to be one of the beneficiaries of his fundraising campaign.

Trevor took the plunge and clipped, shaved and cut his way free of eight years' of beard growth to raise $3,000 for three charities close to his heart.

Read the full story on our website.

A sneak peak at our next webinar

A man and a woman sit on a bench. The man is holding a hockey stick.

We've been busy filming our next webinar for the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA).

Two of the stars who stole the show are Ryan, a physiotherapist at Springvale Park Special Developmental School, and his student Vanessa, talking about the importance of physical activity as part of therapy for children with disability.

The webinar will also feature Prof Nora Shields, La Trobe University and Northern Health, who looks at the importance of physical activity for people with intellectual disability.

The webinar will be available to our members (and APA members) later in the year - stay tuned for more details.

Not a member? No dramas, you can sign up online for free.

Board vacancies

Disability Sport & Recreation logo

Due to work commitments and overseas postings, we currently have vacancies on the Disability Sport & Recreation board.

Are you a member? Interested in becoming a board member and helping to shape the future direction of our organisation?

Find more information and details on how to express interest on the Institute of Community Directors Australia website.

The Saints take out the inaugural Victorian AFL Wheelchair Championships

Melbourne protesters for disability rights protesting in Melbourne CBD

Sunday 27 August saw the launch of the very first Victorian AFL Wheelchair Championships.

Originally started through the Australian Defence Force as a way for rehabilitating service men and women to remain involved in sport, AFL wheelchair is an adapted version of our national game that provides people with a physical disability the opportunity to play AFL.

The Magpies put up a tough fight in the grand final to be beaten by the Saints, 6.6-42 v 5.5-35.

Congratulations also go to Caleb Logan, who was named player of the championships.

You can read more about our partnership with AFL Victoria on our website.

You can also check out some photos of the day on our Facebook page, taken by the talented Nerissa Turner Photography

You can watch a demonstration game of AFL wheelchair as part of the Darebin Wheelchair Sports Day on 29 October at the Darebin Community Sports Stadium. The game will start at 12:45pm.

Victorian Rugby Union awards recognise Wheelchair Rugby

Three men in wheelchairs sit in front of a sponsor banner

It was wonderful to have our Wheelchair Rugby program welcomed by the broader rugby community at the Victorian Rugby Union awards last month, including Melbourne Rebels and Wallaby player James Hanson.

It was the first time that two Wheelchair Rugby awards were presented.

A big congratulations to Andrew Harrison for taking out 2017 Wheelchair Rugby Player of the Year. Andrew was also voted best player in the last Victorian Wheelchair Rugby Cup season.

Anthony Gray, who was selected for the Australian Steelers squad to play the Asia/Oceania tournament won by Australia recently, was named the 2017 Wheelchair Rugby Rising Star.

You can see a few photos from the night on our Facebook page.

2017 Victorian Disability Awards

2017 Victorian Disability Awards logo

The seventh Victorian Disability Awards, held last month, recognise and honour people who make an outstanding contribution to empower and include the lives of people with disabilities living in Victoria.

We were delighted to see so many sport and recreation related finalists and winners in this year's lineup. Congratulations to the following recipients:

Emerging leader award:

Highly commended – Dylan Alcott OAM, Get Skilled Access

Finalists – Ben Roche, All Abilities Football Ambassador; John Kenwright, Parks Victoria; Kerry Tavrou, Gymnastics Victoria.

Excellence in creating inclusive communities:

Winner – Gymnastics Victoria

Highly commended - Janet Parker, Netball Victoria

Minister's award for outstanding leadership:

Winner – Dylan Alcott OAM

Excellence in promoting health, housing and wellbeing:

Finalists – Aerobase, Gymnastics Victoria; Hannah MacDougall, Reclink Australia and Victorian Insititute of Sport; Maurice Gleeson, Blind Sports and Recreation Victoria.

Volunteer award:

Finalist – Janet Parker, Netball Victoria.

Wheelchair fencing

Two people in wheelchairs practicing fencing

Are you interested in wheelchair fencing?

The Fioretto Fencing Club is committed to making fencing accessible to people of all abilities.

They plan to integrate wheelchair fencing into their regular training and hope to set up dedicated wheelchair fencing training in the next 18 months.

Would you like to get involved in this growing sport?

Contact Andrew on 0438 882 569 or email

Achilles Melbourne is growing

Man and woman running together. The man is blind.

The Achilles Melbourne running and walking group has expanded their network:

* Achilles is training up key running clubs around Melbourne so that they know how to provide sighted guides for people with vision impairment/blindness

* Many clubs are beginner-friendly and are keen to have people with vision impairment/blindness join their clubs

* Existing clubs include TXR runners (Knox to Frankston); Waverley Athletics Club; Diamond Creek Runners/Athletics club; Mornington Trail Runners, various Parkruns around Melbourne.

For more information contact Janelle Ryan on or 9822 8876

Blind junior tennis has returned

Young girl holding a tennis racket and ball

Blind Junior Tennis has started up again on Friday nights at the National Tennis Centre.

After the success of the pilot in Term 1, all children aged 5-15, who are blind or vision impaired, are invited to go along every second Friday during terms 3 and 4.

The sessions run between 5.30pm and 6.30pm on the following dates:

  • 13 and 27 October
  • 10 November

Qualified coaches and all equipment will be supplied. Free parking is provided for parents of participants.

The National Tennis Centre is located within the Melbourne Park precinct, opposite AAMI Park Stadium, next to Hisense Arena.

For more information contact Janelle Ryan on or 9822 8876

Blind cricket calendar of events

Victorian Blind Cricket Association logo

The Victorian Blind Cricket Association (VBCA) has a fantastic calendar of events planned over the next 12 months for Victorians with a vision impairment, including:

Vision Impaired Cricket Schools Come & Try Day on Friday 22 Sept

Milo In2Cricket for primary and secondary students, Oct-Dec 2017 and Jan-March 2018

* All Age Mixed Gender Competition Cricket, Oct-Dec 2017 and Jan-March 2018

* Geelong All Age Mixed Gender Come and Try Experience

*National Cricket Inclusion Championships, Jan 2018

If you, or someone you know, would like to get involved, call VBCA on 0401 718 926 or visit their website

Football for all abilities

Three children, ready to play football

The Melbourne City School Holiday Program includes a football for all abilities session for children aged 7-15 years.

This mixed clinic is designed for children with disability to engage and take part in football activities facilitated by Melboure City FC community coaches in an environment that is fun, supportive and safe.

Date: Wednesday 4th of October 2017
Time: 1.00pm – 3.00pm
Location: City Football Academy Community Football Pitch,
2 Crissane Road, Bundoora, 3083
Cost: FREE

You can register online

If you have any special requirements or extra information that you would like us to know, please send an email to: 

Numbers will be limited so book early!

All Abilities Football in October

Soccer ball on grass

The Soccer5s All Abilities Football Cup will be held on Saturday 28 October. 

If you'd like to take part in one of the three divisions, email or register on the Soccer5s website.

A great warm up for the cup is the Reagan Milstein Foundation
and Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Community Football Day.

To be held on Sunday 15 October, the event is open for all AA teams in the four FFV categories.

Check out their website for more information or call Kevin on 0416 250 754.

Are you taking part in the Melbourne Marathon?

Melbourne Marathon logo

We are on the lookout for a wheelchair participant in this year's Melbourne Marathon, who would like to take part in a special project.

If you're up for the whole 42km and don't mind being filmed and/or interviewed before, during and after the marathon, send an expression of interest to: 

Include your name, age and a few details about yourself.

As well as being a media star, you'll be compensated for your involvement.

Escape the weather with a sailing trip from Fiji to Cairns

Two tall ships

The Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) is a charity that uses tall ships to help break down barriers between people with, and without, disability.

The SV Tenacious is a fully accessible and inclusive tall ship built by 1,500 volunteers of different abilities.

It features wheelchair lifts, a speaking compass, vibrating alarm pads and a joystick so that people with limited mobility can helm the ship. The ship has been designed specifically so that people of all abilities can learn to sail, side-by-side.

There are numerous voyages to choose from but if you want to get some warmer weather this month and can squeeze in a trip between Fiji and Cairns, JST are offering three berths for the price of two.

You can read more about the Jubilee Sailing Trust and the available voyages on their website.

Sport4Everyone grant program now open

Australian Sports Foundation logo

The Giving for Grassroots program gives up to $10,000 to community-based organisations and clubs.

The grants are specifically to help them fund activities and programs that focus on getting more members of the community involved. 

The current grant round is called Sport4Everyone and focuses on inclusion and diversity in sport. That means including people of all cultures, abilities, ages, and genders.

Applications close at 12pm on Tuesday 19 September.

You can find more information on the Australian Sports Foundation website

Active Club Grants

VicHealth logo

Sports clubs across Victoria are encouraged to apply for the latest round of VicHealth's Active Club Grants.

You can apply for up to $3,000 or $10,000 if your club offers the following:

* opportunities for women and girls to get more involved in sport

* social and modified sport, including fun and flexible activities with less emphasis on performance and competition.

Applications close at 4pm on Friday 22 September.

You can find more information on the VicHealth website.

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