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Sir George Bedbrook & Frank Ponta Grants

Wheelchair Sports WA (WSWA) plays an important role in rehabilitating, re-engaging, and re-connecting people with physical disabilities, so they have an opportunity to live a full and happy life.

WSWA provides financial assistance to members with a disability through two annual grants, which aim to encourage participation in social, recreation and sporting activities:

Frank Ponta Grant for Junior Members

(under 18 years at time of application)

 Sir George Bedbrook Grant for Senior Members

(18 years and over at time of application)

Grants will be awarded to applicants who clearly demonstrate how the funding will help them and why they need the financial support. With limited funding available it is imperative that funding is directed to those who most need it.

The number of members who can be awarded scholarship funding each year is not limited and each application is assessed on an individual basis, with $30,000 available to members annually.

Some examples of the costs which could be claimed through the grant program are:

  • Participation in recreation or social programs (scuba diving course, fishing trip, golf, etc)
  • Travel and accommodation to compete in sporting events
  • Coaching costs
  • Participation and training costs (entry fees, gym membership etc)
  • Athlete Agreement costs for members who have no means of fundraising  (e.g. new migrant with no language skills and/or networks)

For more info, please click the “guidelines” below:

Sir George Bedbrook & Frank Ponta Grant – Guidelines

Sir George Bedbrook & Frank Ponta Grant – Application Form

Frank Ponta
young-frank-with-basketball

From 1957 to 1976, Frank was a member of ten Australian Teams to participate in international Games, including the Stoke Mandeville Games, five Paralympic Games, the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games and the FESPIC Games (Far East and South Pacific) and competed at 19 national wheelchair games and basketball championships from 1960 to 1992.

His retirement from international competition in 1976 enabled him to increase his volunteer community leadership to young people through sport. He established junior wheelchair sports and was the driving force behind its development in Western Australia, being involved as manager, coach, selector and coordinator of many teams over 30 years. At the same time, he continued to coach senior and junior wheelchair basketball teams. He has served numerous terms on the Board of Wheelchair Sports WA, as well as serving as a selector for wheelchair basketball at state and national levels.

Sir George Bedbrook

Studio portrait of Sir George Bedbrook, inaugural Associate cetegory inductee into the Australian Paralympic Hall of Fame August 2011

Sir George Montario Bedbrook, OBE was the West Australian medical doctor and surgeon, who was the driving force in creating the Australian Paralympic movement and the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games, and helped to found the FESPIC Games.

Bedbook was challenged by Paralympic Games Founder – Sir Ludwig Guttmann to bring organised sport to the disabled in Australia when Guttmann visited Bedbrook at the Royal Perth Hospital in 1956. The year after Guttmann’s visit, Bedbrook helped Australia to send its first team to compete in the Stoke Mandeville Games. The first team consisted of seven athletes six of whom were from Bedbrook’s ward at the hospital, and the seventh from Sydney. Bedbrook did extensive fundraising to help cover the travel expenses of the athletes from Royal Perth Hospital.

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