March 2018

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New partnership with People Outdoors

Two people helping a child on a ropes course

We are very proud to announce a new partnership with People Outdoors.

This exciting new partnership is built on the shared vision of both our organisations to make sure people with disability can experience recreational adventures.

This exciting news means all our members, including teenagers and adults, can now access a bigger range of camps and day activities.

Read the full story on our website or take a look at what camps are available.

Our wheelchair rugby program is already a winner in our eyes

Victorian Sport Awards

We are super excited to announce that our wheelchair rugby program is a finalist for Victorian Sport Development Initiative of the Year at the 2017 Victorian Sport Awards.

Through a fantastic partnership with Rugby Victoria, the four top rugby clubs in Melbourne are aligned with the four Victorian wheelchair rugby teams, leading to an increase in participation rates and exposure.

A big congratulations to the other finalists - we should all be proud of the outstanding community sporting initiatives happening here in Victoria.

You can read about all the award finalists on the Vicsport website.

Thank you Carbine Club

Three men in suits. Two are shaking hands and presenting a cheque.

We are extremely grateful to the Carbine Club for their recent donation of $25,000.

Pictured here is Carbine Club member, James Tomkins OAM and President, Graeme Johnson OAM, presenting the cheque to Disability Sport and Recreation CEO, Richard Amon.

We are humbled by the continued support of the Carbine Club, whose generous contribution will go towards a number of our services and programs.

Will follows wheelchair rugby all the way to Canberra

Man in a wheelchair holding a rugby ball

In this issue of Vortex, we'd like you to meet one of our members, Will Taylor.

Will has been playing wheelchair rugby for almost two years and is a great example of what can be achieved if you want to follow the wheelchair rugby pathway.

He's gone from being a hesitant first-timer, to travelling to the ACT last weekend to compete in the Canberra Classic. 

“Definitely come and give wheelchair rugby a go, I’ve loved it ever since I started. You’ll meet so many different people. It’ll get you out into the community.”

Read the full story about Will's journey on our website 

Are you watching the Paralympic Winter Games?

Girl skiing

The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games hit the slopes running last week and continue through to THIS Sunday 18 March.

The Games feature up to 670 athletes, which is 24% more than the Sochi 2014 Games.

In a fantastic new partnership between the Australian Paralympic Committee and The Seven Network, the Games are being shown on the TV in Australia for the first time.

Each day there is a daily highlights show on 7MATE in the morning, with encore highlights on 7TWO and Channel 7 in the evening.

You can watch alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice hockey, snowboarding and wheelchair curling.

Take a look at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games website and support our Australian Paralympians in the alpine skiing and snowboarding!

Vale Michael McFawn

Man holding a basketball

We are very sad to hear of the passing of one of our life members, a legend in wheelchair sports, Michael McFawn.

Michael was an outstanding wheelchair basketballer representing his country with pride at four Paralympic Games while also representing Victoria in the first ever Wheelchair Aussie Rules national championships.

Condolences to Michael's wife Sally and children Daniel, Adam, Charley, Olivia and William at this time.

He certainly left a mark and will be sadly missed.

CyclePower Sri Lanka wrap up

A boy standing next to a man in a wheelchair

After cycling through almost 500km of Sri Lanka, our team of fearless riders have completed the challenge and returned home jubilant!

It was amazing to see the personal achievements of each rider, as well as the awareness that was created through each town of what people with disability can achieve. 

The highlight of the trip was visiting the Varod rehabilitation centre in Vavuniya. The same rehabilitation centre that one of our riders, Judeland, went to when he became a paraplegic during the Sri Lankan civil war.

We spent the day playing wheelchair basketball, teaching them AFL Wheelchair skills and demonstrating one of the handcycles we were travelling through Sri Lanka on.

With support from our CyclePower 2018 sponsors, JeylabsPeregrine Accountants and Business ServicesChrystal Homes and New Avatharam, we were also able to donate wheelchairs and sports equipment to the centre. Thank you to the individual donors who helped us raise almost $20,000 towards helping Victorians with disability get active.

You can see more photos from the adventure on the CyclePower Facebook page. And don't forget, you can still support the CylePower initiative by making a donation.

Look out for the CyclePower thank you dinner in coming months, which will feature a short documentary highlighting the trip. 

DSR Kids summer camp a success

Two girls holding tennis rackets

Last month, all that could be heard at Camp Manyung in Mt Eliza was the "woo hoo!"s coming from a group of 13 kids as they smashed another tennis ball across the courts.

Our annual DSR Kids summer camp was a weekend full of new friendships, personal achievements and independence. Along with the usual beach adventure, giant swing, bike riding and a trivia night. 

A huge thank you to our generous donors, volunteers and supporters for making this camp such a huge success. Your contribution was invaluable. 

Wheelchair Aussie Rules National Championships

Man playing AFL Wheelchair

The Wheelchair Aussie Rules National Championships is almost upon us.

When: Wednesday 21 - Friday 23 March, 2018

Where: Casey Indoor Stadium, Cranbourne East

You can read the competition schedule on the Disability Sports Australia website

A team of 11 wheelchair football players have been busily training and preparing to represent Victoria in the championships.

One of our members, Caleb Logan, is one of these players.

At the young age of 20, Logan, who has Spina Bifida, has already represented Victoria in two championships.

Read more about Logan in this article by the Bendigo Advertiser

Wheelchair rugby season returns

Cover of the Protect Victoria Wheelchair Rugby Cup 2018 Season 1 Guide

The toughest sport on wheels is back in town! Season 1 of the Protect Victoria Wheelchair Rugby Cup starts next Monday 19 March.

Get prepared by downloading a copy of the season 1 guide, which includes the season fixture, teams, basic rules of play and captains’ profiles.

Thank you to Protect, ETU, Victorian State Government, Rugby Victoria and the four rugby clubs – Box Hill, Harlequin, Power House and Unicorns – for their continued support of wheelchair rugby in Victoria.

Balloon football league opportunities

Balloon Football League and Scope logos

The 2018 balloon football league will officially launch later this month.

The launch event is a great opportunity to see balloon football in action and support players from across the state. You may even decide you want to play!

When: Wednesday 28 March, 2018, 11.00am - 2.00pm

Where: Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre (MSAC)
30 Aughtie Drive, Albert Park 3206

RSVP: By Friday 23 March, 2018 to

Already know that you want to play balloon football this year?

The Western League season starts in April.

When: Season runs from 23 April - 16 October. Mondays 10:00am - 12:00pm

Where: Keilor Basketball Stadium

Cost: $160 for the season

Contact Amy for more information on or 0481 006 205.

See you at the Arnold Sports Festival!

EHP labs presents Arnold Sports Festival Australia

The Arnold Sports Festival returns to Melbourne for the fourth time this weekend at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, 16-18 March.

SPIRE (Spinal Injury Resource & Support Network), in partnership with DSR, YMCA and Special Olympics Australia, is coordinating a range of inclusive sport demonstrations across the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the festival.

If you're planning on heading to the festival, keep an eye out for wheelchair rugby, AFL Wheelchair, para badminton, wheelchair tennis, wheelchair handball, blindfold boxing, Special Olympics Australia and electric wheelchair soccer. You might even get to meet some of our paralympic athletes!

You can find more information about the festival and wheelchair sport demonstrations online.

Casey Gymnastics all-abilities open day

Wonderlous open day for all abilities

Casey Gymnastics will be hosting their first all-abilities open day later this month.

Come and try gymnastics activities, see Special Olympics Gymnastics performances, meet Special Olympics athletes, grab a show bag and sausage sizzle and more!

When: Sunday 25 March, 1.00-3.00pm.

Where: Endeavour Hills Leisure Centre, 10 Raymond McMahon Boulevard, Endeavour Hills

Who: Young people of all-abilities are encouraged to come along with their families.

Cost: Free

This event will highlight Casey’s growing Special Olympics Gymnastics program and inclusive programming for children and adolescents with disability. 

Register your attendance online

Open innovation competition - get your thinking caps on!

City of Melbourne logo

Do you have an idea for how the City of Melbourne could be more accessible for people with disability?

Something that could make it easier for people with disability to get active and take part in their community?

City of Melbourne is running an open innovation competition and they're looking for submissions from innovators, entrepreneurs, businesses and the community that:

  • help people with disability take part in all areas of life within a city 
  • make sure people and places in Melbourne are better at meeting the needs of people with disability.

Read more about the competition on the City of Melbourne website

Scholarships for women

Woman helping a person play tennis

Are you a woman currently working in the sports and recreation sector?

Women & Leadership Australia is providing scholarships between $3,000 and $8,000 to help women take part in a range of leadership development programs.

Find out more and register your interest before THIS Friday 16 March.

Dylan Alcott wants to make disability sexy

Man in wheelchair holding a microphone

We love this ABC News article about tennis player Dylan Alcott.

As a three time Payalympic gold medallist, radio presenter and motivational speaker, Alcott says sport changed his life.

"Not only did it get me fitter, but I also met people who were just like me, other people in wheelchairs who were smiling, happy, maybe even married, travelling the world, doing things that I didn't know if I could do," he said.

"I didn't know any positive role models with disability [until then], so it was a real eye opening experience for me."

Read the full article on the ABC website

Your chance to learn radio

98.7 rpp your peninsula radio logo

Are you a person with disability? Do you love sport? Are you interested in learning how to be a radio broadcaster?

RPPFM - Voice of the Peninsula is an accessible community radio station on the Mornington Peninsula that is actively looking for people with disability who are interested in learning how to commentate local sports for radio.

Sound like your cup of tea? Call the station on 5975 1234 and ask for the manager.

2018 Victorian Disability Awards

2018 Victorian Disability Awards

Do you know someone who's making an outstanding contribution to the lives of Victorians with disability? Nominations for the Victorian Disability Awards are now open.

The awards recognise those who lead the way in creating a fairer, more inclusive community and are open to all Victorians - not just people working in the disability sector.

If a person, team or organisation is making a difference in your life, why not nominate them under one of the seven categories?

Find more information about the different award categories and how to nominate online.

Nominations close 8 April 2018.

Box Hill Institute Disability Golf Classic 2018

Group of men playing golf. Two of them are in wheelchairs.

After the success of our first Golf Classic last year, we are pleased to announce the details for our 2018 Disability Golf Classic in partnership with Golf Victoria.

We also warmly welcome Box Hill Institute as our Gold Sponsor.

This event not only raises funds like a traditional golf day, it is an exclusive opportunity to play alongside golfers who are competing in the inaugural Victorian Inclusive Golf Championship as well as take part in demonstrations and clinics.

The entry fee includes a light lunch and drink before the game, green fees, on course drinks and dinner at the Clubhouse at 5:45pm.

There will be a guest speaker and auction during the dinner.

When: Tuesday 17 April, 2018 

Where: Woodlands Golf Club

Time: 11:30am registration for 12:30pm tee off


  • Individual players $250
  • Hole sponsor package (four players plus signage at your sponsored hole) $1,200

Silver and hole sponsorship packages are now available. Sponsors receive a bonus video analysis clinic leading up to the event.

To book your place or ask about sponsorship, contact Michelle Hui on or (03) 8545 6207.

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