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/ Member In Focus

Wheelchair Sports WA is a constantly growing family and in our monthly segment ‘ Member in Focus’, we take 5 minutes to catch up with a new member who is just embarking on their journey in Wheelchair Sports.

December 2016

connor-web

Name: Connor Johnstone

Disability: CP

How many years have you been a member of Wheelchair Sports WA?

Feels like a long long time, probably since around 2009 so what’s that, 7 years or so?

How were you first introduced to WSWA?

There was an APC Come-and-Try event that was held at the Herb Graham Recreation Centre where you could try lots of sports. Wheelchair Sports WA may well have been involved but I got a letter a few weeks later listing some sports that I would be suitable for and who to talk to and WSWA were one of them!

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

I actually started in Athletics for a few years and then moved into Table Tennis. Non-sporting wise, done a few junior camps, Sports Awards, Quiz Nights and Christmas Parties.

What is one of your WSWA highlights?

I reckon the 2009 Australian Paralympic Youth Games would be my highlight. I was travelling over for Athletics and Table Tennis and it was the friendships I made that really stood out to me. The camaraderie amongst all of the other athletes was great and everyone got together to support each other and hang out. It was a really good time.

What might people not know about you?

I’m actually a really big Basketball nerd! I’m an absolute NBA fanatic. The LA Clippers are my team if you want to quiz me..

 

November 2016

jake-web

Name: Jake Howe

Disability: Quad

How many years have you been a member of Wheelchair Sports WA?

I’d say coming up to 4 years.

How were you first introduced to WSWA?

WSWA came out to Shenton Park at the basketball court near the grass area and we did a demo day of rugby and other sports. Enforcers player Scott Joyce had a good chat with me. It grabbed my interest and I could see for the first time that there were things that I can do and compete in after rehab which was really exciting.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Wheelchair Rugby is my main sport but I have also been to Quiz Nights, a few fishing trips and the Sports Awards night.

What is one of your WSWA highlights?

Being able to play the sport and travel over East. This wouldn’t have been feasible if weren’t for WSWA and we wouldn’t have been able to go to all the competitions. Most recently though, being awarded a Scholarship from the FTT group at the recent Sports Awards was amazing and hopefully will help kick me on to new heights.

What might people not know about you?

I’m actually a father which a lot of people don’t know. Everything I do is for my boy so I try and act as a good role model for him.

 

October 2016

mark-web

Name: Mark Daniels

Disability: Amputee

How many years have you been a member of Wheelchair Sports WA?

2016 is my first year!

How were you first introduced to WSWA?

A friend of mine from Queensland introduced me to Wheelchair Rugby so I decided to check it out but I wasn’t disabled enough!

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

I play Wheelchair Basketball every Tuesday as a part of “Some Assembly Required”. We definitely aren’t the best team in the comp but we certainly have the best banter!

What might people not know about you?

I decided to go jetskiing 6 months after my accident, since my leg wasn’t waterproof I couldn’t wear it. I was watching the boys wavejump their skis off secret harbour and go a little jealous so I decided I could do it on one leg. I ended up over balancing midair and landing on my left leg on the ski and banged myself up really badly. It was three days before I could walk again, safe to say my physios weren’t happy but I would do it again in a heartbeat!

September 2016

derek-web

Name: Derek Richards

Disability: Para

How many years have you been a member of Wheelchair Sports WA?

Since October 2012.

How were you first introduced to WSWA?

When I was living in Kalgoorlie, I heard about the Association through the Disability Services Commission.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Wheelchair Basketball is my main sport and passion and I now play in the NWBL with the Red Dust Heelers. Other programs – I have tried  some tennis in the past, did the Summer Slam a few years ago

What is one of your WSWA highlights?

I think it has to be the new people that I have met and the friendships that I have made through the Association.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I have ambitions of become a helicopter pilot one day.

August 2016

Georgia Web

Name: Georgia Inglis

Disability: Para

How many years have you been a member of Wheelchair Sports WA?

I have been a part of Wheelchair Sports WA for about 11 years. It didn’t take too long for me to want to get back into sport after my accident. So I think it was only a year or so after my accident until I was trying different sports through WSWA.

How were you first introduced to WSWA?

I think it was through PMH where I first attended a junior camp and then made heaps of friends there. That is what made me want to become more involved. Bubbly personalities like Amber (fellow Be Active Western Stars player) made it hard not to be involved.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

I have tried almost everything, starting from tennis and swimming to hand cycling and finishing up with the favourite – basketball. I have gone to plenty of camps and other rec and social programs too over the years.

What is one of your WSWA highlights?

Winning a championship is always a highlight. Both 2013 and 2016 were awesome years for the (Be Active) Western Stars and were so much fun.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I am finishing off my health science degree to hopefully start a masters in Occupational Therapy soonish. And I think I’ve been to every health food cafe in Perth!

July 2016

Invictus Web

Name: Jason Pore

Disability: Amputee

How many years have you been a member of Wheelchair Sports WA?

Around one year.

How were you first introduced to WSWA?

I wanted to compete in the military adaptive sports (Invictus) in Orlando 2016, and I used WSWA to get my skillsets up so I could be selected in the team as a first timer – I was successful and even became vice captain of the kiwi team!

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Wheelchair Rugby, Shot Put & Discus at this stage.

What is one of your WSWA highlights?

Training with the Australia Invictus team & competing in the previous Invictus games 2016 in Orlando – 15 countries came together to compete in adaptive sports it was absolutely an amazing experience (physically demanding but visually inspiring).

My next goal is to try and captain the next Invictus team to Toronto in September 2017.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I’m a kiwi and love the Aussie/ Kiwi banter we have together! That just gets my blood boiling on the court! – What the team doesn’t know about me, I’m a former SAS soldier and the more the guys beat me up during wheelchair rugby the more addicted to the sport I get!

June 2016

Lee (Far Right)

Lee (Right)

Name: Lee Thompson

Disability: Para

How many years have you been a member of Wheelchair Sports WA?

Around three years now.

How were you first introduced to WSWA?

Actually through word of mouth. Someone at my workplace knew of WSWA and pointed me in the right direction!

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Basketball has been the main one so far but I’m really keen to do some more activities. Fishing, powerlifting, handcycling.. it all looks good but I just need the time!

What is one of your WSWA highlights?

Winning the State Competition back in 2014 with the Mighty Purple Dragons was good fun. I think if I got back into basketball then I would want to push for A grade. I like having a challenge.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I’m a very open book kinda guy and I am also always up for a Challenge.

May 2016

Phil Web 2

Name: Phil Evans

DoB: September 1990

Disability: Para

How many years have you been a member of Wheelchair Sports WA?

Around two years.

How were you first introduced to WSWA?

Through a workshop Wheelchair Sports did with the Physios and OTs at Shenton Park. The workshop was at the Herb Graham Rec Centre and we were able to try some equipment as well as hear from several WSWA members which was great.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

I’ve been to an Athletics Come & Try Day as well as a Golf session but at the moment Wheelchair Basketball is the main one. I’m currently playing regularly in the Tuesday night state league and I am hoping to work into higher competitions.

What is one of your WSWA highlights?

I think it must be being able to play competitive sports with my mates again. I have got a few of them down to the Tuesday nights!

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I’m colour blind.

April 2016

Nat Web

Name: Natalie Horobin

DoB: August 1979

Disability: Amputee

How many years have you been a member of Wheelchair Sports WA?

I first got involved with Athletics in April 2013 and then joined up with Wheelchair Sports in October 2013.

How were you first introduced to WSWA?

I was watching the London 2012 Paralympics and decided then to get involved so I put myself onto the Australian Paralympic Committee mailing list. I then got some information through about an APC “Come & Try” Day for athletics in Perth so went on down and started having a throw! I tried a couple of different coaches and then met up with Wheelchair Sports shortly after.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Athletics obviously but also I’ve come to Quiz Nights and presented at Spine & Limb days with Wheelchair Sports. I tried Wheelchair Basketball but at the time I found that it was a bit too much going on!

What is one of your WSWA highlights?

I think it must be Nationals this year which was a great experience. Another stand-out were the Perth Track Classics were Chris Barty and I were able to throw amongst legends like Julian Ruck & Matt Denny, so that was a real privilege.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

Well I have travelled the world and seen plenty of amazing places, but I have actually NEVER been to Rottnest Island! I have lived in Perth all my life but I have just never got round to it even though it is in my backyard. One day I will go!

March 2016

Conor Web

Name: Conor McGrory

DoB: September 1992

Disability: Para

How many years have you been a member of Wheelchair Sports WA?

Just over one year now, though I have been pretty busy in that time!

How were you first introduced to WSWA?

The physios down at Shenton Park recommended WSWA to me when I told them that I wanted to keep fit and meet other people in the same situation. I was one of the last patients to go through Ward 11 at Shenton Park and I remember WSWA coming down to visit.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Paracycling, Wheelchair Basketball, Athletics, Off-road Handcycling, Canoeing and a Fishing trip!

What is one of your WSWA highlights?

Meeting the handcycle crew was great and training hard while bumping ideas off each other… I have to get back to it!

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I completed all 4 stages of the Cape to Cape on an off-road handcycle just a year after my accident!

February 2016

Wheelchair Sports Member Joe

Name: Joe Davey

DoB: April 1967

Disability: Spinal Agenesis

How many years have you been a member of Wheelchair Sports WA?

A long long time! I don’t quite know! I was a real kid when I first got involved down at Rocky Bay. It must be at least 30 years. I remember a trophy from 1978 so I think it must be around 37 years and counting!

How were you first introduced to WSWA?

I’m not sure who it was, but someone from Wheelchair Sports WA came down to Rocky Bay and we started playing basketball but with the little nets and I must have been only 5 or 6 years old? After Wheelchair Basketball, I got involved with Wheelchair Hockey which was great, down at the para-quad centre.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Wheelchair Basketball, Fishing, Hockey, Christmas Parties, AGMs, Shooting, Track and Field, Para-cycling, Junior National Championships and I’m now into my lawn bowls.

What is one of your WSWA highlights?

I think going to the National Championships as a junior, those were really good fun. I’ve also really enjoyed the recent Bowls National Championships.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I don’t know if it is necessarily ‘fun’ but I do know that I regularly cause people to have near heart attacks when they see me jump off my chair and walk on my hands!

January 2016

 

Heidi2 Web

Name: Heidi Thomas

DoB: November 1973

Disability: Para

How many years have you been a member of Wheelchair Sports WA?

Around 8 or so years?

How were you first introduced to WSWA?

I first started by playing wheelchair basketball in the UK for around 5 or so years. Before I moved over to Australia, I looked up Wheelchair Sports WA and spoke with Gary in the office. After I arrived I tried a few different sports including wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby. I really enjoyed the rugby for the social side and did this on and off for 4 years. I would have loved to compete in rugby but unfortunately I’m not classifiable.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

A fair few! Off-road handcycling, on-road handcycling, tennis, basketball, rugby, swimming, kayaking and then I’ve always enjoyed motorbikes.

What is one of your WSWA highlights?

The offroad handcycling has been a great highlight and it has been great getting back into it as I enjoyed it before my accident. Other than that, I think it was just meeting all of the other wheelies when I moved over.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

Well I’ve got my own Harley Davidson trike which is pretty cool!

November 2015

Pheilm

Name: Pheilm Hannon

DoB: July 1986

Disability: Para

How many years have you been a member of Wheelchair Sports WA?

I actually signed up this year!

How were you first introduced to WSWA?

I was at Fiona Stanley Hospital and Wheelchair Sports WA brought down some equipment and athletes came down which was great to hear their story, I signed a form there and then! I looked down the list of sports and liked the sound of the archery and shooting. Still been doing lots of umming and ahhing about other events but I’ve come down to more.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Scuba Diving was great! I tried basketball and some handcycling, thought about powerlifting and lots others! Rowing looked interesting too. I often kayak in my own time and love fishing.

What is one of your WSWA highlights?

It would have to be the scuba and getting back into the sea properly. Diving in was a great feeling.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I’ve got a favourite saying, “Call me butter because I’m on a roll”

October 2015

Ian Beard

Name: Ian Beard

DoB: September 1970

Disability: Quad C6 Incomplete

How many years have you been a member of Wheelchair Sports WA?

Just around a year.

How were you first introduced to WSWA?

The seed was really planted from a visit WSWA did to Shenton Park. Whilst I wasn’t quite ready at the time, the seed was definitely there. We then came out to Herb Graham Rec Centre and saw all of the equipment which was really great. I then started to get the emails and it was when I got out of Fiona Stanley Hospital in January 2015 when I was ready to get stuck in. After a month or two, I saw that there was a triathlon coming up and I needed a bike which I could use. WSWA helped tee up a suitable bike from another WSWA member (Doug Hannigan) and Peter Allen helped to get me set up. It then went on from there!

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Handcycling at the moment and some triathlon. Who knows, I wouldn’t mind having a crack at rugby later down the track!

What is one of your WSWA highlights?

Whilst it wasn’t quite with WSWA, I think travelling up to Geraldton for the triathlon was really great and something that I want to support in the years to come. It was the first time back into racing independently and I got the bug back. Despite not physically being there, WSWA gave me great support, as well as the bike I used for the event!

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I’m actually a very cultural man believe it or not! I love myself a bit of theatre.

September 2015

Shane OKeefe Web

Name: Shane O’Keefe

DoB: May 1957

Disability: Para

How many years have you been a member of Wheelchair Sports WA?

I’ve been in a chair for probably 4 years now so been a member for 3?

How were you first introduced to WSWA?

I came along to a Shenton Park “Excursion Day” a few years ago and was able to try a whole host of different sports. I remember having a push in a few different chairs and really enjoying it.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

I’ve gone along to the Fishing twice and done some archery too. I want to give the handcycling a go and maybe try out lawn bowls. Also I loved the diving that we did a few months ago!

What is one of your WSWA highlights?

I think achieving my diving certificate was really great and I would love to do some more, just waiting for the warm weather! I just need a new goal so I’m looking forward to trying some more of the physical stuff.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I’m a bit of a petrol head at heart and I have two “grown up toys” on my bucket list to own – an American Muscle Car and a Motorbike Trike… Need for speed I guess!

August 2015

Grant Manzoney

Name: Grant Manzoney

Date of Birth: December 1969

Disability: Above knee amputee

How many years have you been a member of WSWA?

Probably about two years now.

How were you first introduced to WSWA?

Former WSWA Chair – Esme Bowen, first spoke to me at a workplace many many years ago and for various reasons I never really followed it up. But then years later, it was just a curious google! I play cricket at an able-bodied club and that has always been a huge part of my life. I’m a wicked spin bowler and I love batting, so I get a runner to run and I can stand there and hit! The game started to get harder and harder and I wanted to start pursuing other sports.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

So far it is just the Wheelchair Basketball State League and I also have a handcycle that I’m looking to ride more. I’m also hoping to get involved in some athletics in this season coming. I would likely be a F57/58 athlete. I’m definitely coming to the Badminton CnT, I did it many moons ago and loved it.

What is one of your WSWA highlights?

Playing in the B Grade Grand Final last year was great and then being named ‘rookie of the year’. It was recognition of my improvement which was great and I would love to try A grade sometime!

And finally, give us a fun fact about yourself:

I’m definitely a faster crawler than I am a runner so watch out!

July 2015

Name: Dan Baines

Date of Birth: May 1977

Disability: Para

How many years have you been a member of WSWA?

6-7 years but drifting in and out. Having the time is what has brought me back in now. I have got the time!

How were you first introduced to WSWA?

I was over in the UK when I had my accident and I got involved in w/c tennis straight out of hospital, playing 3-4x per week. I was playing Mens B Class in tournaments around the UK which was great and even got to A Grade doubles in tournaments of up to 150 people. It was really social which was great. I’m not sure how I found WSWA, maybe it was a referral..??

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Tennis obviously but now getting into my hand cycling (both on road and off!). I also love kayaking. Anything where we can get off road and muddy and see some great scenery!

What is one of your WSWA highlights?

The offroad handcycling in June. We got absolutely soaked but I had  huge grin on my face all day. It was an awesome day and I can’t wait to get into it more. Cape to cape in the future…? Who knows!

And finally, give us a fun fact about yourself:

My wife and I head to a nudie camp once a year!

 

June 2015

Nige Young 062015

Name: Nige Young

Date of Birth: June 1968

Disability: C6 & C7 Incomplete (Walking!) Quad

How many years have you been a member of WSWA?

Just a tender 14 months!

How were you first introduced to WSWA?

It was just a simple google search when I realised that I really wanted to get back into my Triathlon

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Well obviously my three disciplines: para-cycling, wheelchair track and swimming. I have also got stuck into a few social events such as the WSWA Quiz Night and helping out at the kids camps last year. I also help with some welding for the Basketball and Rugby guys after they have bashed their chairs up!

What is one of your WSWA highlights?

There’s a couple which is always a good sign! Either getting State Champion last year in the Telstra Tri Series (see picture); Getting 3rd at Nationals this year or, it is the biggie which is gaining selection into the Australian Open Para-triathlon Squad this year for World Championships in September.

And finally, give us a fun fact about yourself:

My motto is “Always rise to the Challenge”

 

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