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/ Volunteer In Focus

Wheelchair Sports WA is very fortunate to have some fantastic Volunteers and they continue to be the lifeblood of the Association. Every month, we will be profiling one of our Volunteers to help bring a name to a face!

December 2016

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Name: Kelvin “KB” Browner

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

Well I’ve done two “stints”, I was first involved years back as a player down at Shenton Park which was great. I then helped coach the WA Team with Doug Thompson and we went to a series in Melbourne that year.

I then left the WA set up and got heavily involved with the Australia Rollers. I went to the 2004 and 2008 Paralympics with the Team where we won Silver and Gold respectively.

How did you first become involved as a volunteer?

For this stint – I was offered the coaching gig by Gary after Beijing in 2008 and was happy to help as assistant coach to Lee at first and then when he moved on I was happy to take the top job. I was then Coach of the Be Active Perth Wheelcats for around 6 years.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Coaching the Cats on Tuesday & Thursday nights for 6 years! Other than that, plenty of Sports Awards night and a couple of quiz nights. I’ve also done some community coaching and helping out with the development series.

Which is one of your WSWA highlights?

There’s a couple, the first championship was great. I would have to say though that the performance this year under all the duress and external factors that we were faced with meant the most. As Mikey Hartnett said “It was the best Silver Medal we’ve ever won”.

What might people not know about you?

I’m a really passionate skier and love heading to Japan to hit the slopes. From a city as far from snow as Perth is, it’s funny that I spend so much time in the snow! Also I think Basketball Australia still don’t know that my name isn’t Kelvin Brown!

November 2016

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Name: Ben Holyoake

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

I started playing with WSWA when I was seven years old and then volunteering has probably started in the last four or so years.

How did you first become involved as a volunteer?

It started with the 3v3 tournament that Amber Merritt organised for the juniors and then Emily Hardbottle asked whether I would be interested in helping out with the Melville Transition program.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Wheelchair Basketball, Junior Camps and plenty of come and trys in different sports over the years. Helping out for the Quiz Nights, Sports Awards and Whiz Kidz.

Which is one of your WSWA highlights?

It must be winning the Volunteer of the Year Award at the recent Sports Star of the Year Awards. It wasn’t something that I was expecting and I am very proud it.

What might people not know about you?

Not a lot of people would know that I was a State Emergencies volunteer for a year in 2013. I am actually signing up again for them currently.

October 2016

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Name: Emily (Em) Hardbottle

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

Our family have been members for six years.

How did you first become involved as a volunteer?

I started volunteering because my sister wanted to play Wheelchair Basketball in Melville and I realised that there weren’t any good programs for kids with disabilities South of the River. I knew the physical and social benefits of participating regularly in sport and did not want Lauren (Emily’s younger sister with Spina Bifida) to miss out.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Obviously the Melville Wheelchair Basketball program but otherwise lots of Family and Junior Camps and Christmas Parties.

Which is one of your WSWA highlights?

Getting to see all the kids and teenagers playing wheelchair basketball, that without the Melville program, wouldn’t be playing sport. A few of these teens have also represented WA, both this year and last year.

Ed – Emily also won our 2014 Volunteer of the Year Award and has been nominated for several Young People Awards in the past few years.

What might people not know about you?

I have a habit of meeting famous people, including Prince Charles and wife Camilla!

September 2016

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Name: Linley Black

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

I became involved with Wheelchair Sports WA around 3 years ago when a nurse was required to help out at a camp.

How did you first become involved as a volunteer?

I already knew about Wheelchair Sports WA through my work as an ASEN at Princess Margaret Hospital. In outpatients, I work as a nurse for the spinal clinics.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

I have volunteered for the last few junior camps as the nurse but have also taken our kids to Wheelchair Sports for various days and have enjoyed the Wheelchair Basketball and the facilities they provided us.

Which is one of your WSWA highlights?

I really do enjoy the camps. Seeing all these beautiful children become active independent young adults is great.

What might people not know about you?

I will need to come back to you on that one!

August 2016

Stephen Charlton Web

Name: Stephen “Charlie” Charlton

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

This would be my 2nd year I think

How did you first become involved as a volunteer?

Previous Be Active Western Stars Coach – John Trascari, contacted me about coaching the team when he decided to move back to the SBL.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Just coaching the Be Active Western Stars at this stage and also helping out with some of the basketball development sessions.

Which is one of your WSWA highlights?

Has to be winning this year’s WNWBL championship. It was a great season and the girls played incredibly.

What might people not know about you?

Well I watch sports pretty much all the time, have been in the wedding party once and the best man for a mate who has been married 3 times (fellow Western Stars Coach – Stephen Connell) so never the bride. I also follow Richmond in the AFL and like all supporters, I don’t expect much each year.

July 2016

Name: Dave Eckhart

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

Actually a member… not that many but as a helper/volunteer, many years!

How did you first become involved as a volunteer?

I was first introduced to WSWA through my wife, as well as being the (then) General Manager of the State Basketball League.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Wheelchair Basketball has been my the source of my main involvement through the Be Active Perth Wheelcats and Be Active Western Stars. I was initially involved through the scorebench and then ended up as the court announcer.

Which is one of your WSWA highlights?

I think the first Championship that was won by the Be Active Western Stars (and dubiously, being asked by the WSWA staff if I could be Santa for the Christmas Party – which I was never able to undertake).

What might people not know about you?

Despite being a follower of the Collingwood football club in the AFL, I still have my own teeth!

June 2016

Kerry Web

Name: Kerry Filkin

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

I was invited to get involved in the WSWA fundraising committee back in 2011.

How did you first become involved as a volunteer?

I was Chair of CCIs Charity of the Year Program back when WSWA was selected as their Charity of the Year. Through that association I developed a great admiration for the work you do through a year of fundraising on your behalf.

As an athletically challenged individual myself, I also quickly developed tremendous admiration for the amazing dedication and achievements of many of the members. They really focus attention on the ability rather than the disability  too which I think is inspiring, especially for new members and the younger members.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

In addition to general fundraising support, I have been proud to be the quiz mistress of your annual quiz night now for (this year will make it) five years…with my lovely co-host Yogi!

Which is one of your WSWA highlights?

A couple of years back we had an amazing turn out for the quiz night, with over 40 tables spread out over three courts at HG.

I have done a lot of quiz nights over the years but this was a record, by a long shot. It was amazing to see such support!

What might people not know about you?

These days I am building a small business called Recre8ively with Kerry which is all about turning waste and materials destined for landfill into beautiful things and developing and encouraging crafting and making skills.

It’s early days yet but WSWA is one of my nominated benefactors so hopefully in the near future I will be able to start passing on part proceeds from the sale of products which hopefully will help with some of your wonderful programs.

May 2016

Mark Bannister Web

Name: Mark Bannister

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

Since 2008.

How did you first become involved as a volunteer?

My son Andrew started competing in athletics and when he was too old for Little Athletics we joined Wheelchair Sports WA.  I then started helping out at Perry Lakes Stadium as a volunteer with Frank, Doc and Dave on Sunday mornings.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

I have been involved with ambulant para-athletic track and field since 2009 initially as an assistant coach and then in 2010 I took over as coach. Since 2010 I have coached ambulant para-athletes to numerous Junior and Senior National Records as well as medals at both Junior and Senior National Championships.

I have also volunteered in the para-cycling program and wheelchair rugby over the years as well as many other programs including the junior camp, WSWA Christmas Party, as well as Manager and Coach of Junior Athletics teams to National Championships.  I am also a member of the WSWA Junior Working group.

Which is one of your WSWA highlights?

There has been many highlights over the years from one athlete breaking 17 National Junior and Senior Para-Athletic Records in one athletic season in six different disciplines to others winning National Para-Athletic Championship Medals.  However the main highlight and the reason I coach, is to see athletes come down to training and despite their level of disability they have a go and end up achieving goals that when they started they would have thought impossible.

What might people not know about you?

I have always run for medical and fitness reasons but started with Parkrun (5km run) when the Carine Glades Parkrun started in 2014.  Since then I have run in 66 Parkrun’s including runs in Dublin, Derry, Aberdeen and Sydney while travelling.  It’s a great social running event every Saturday morning.

April 2016

Marcus Web

Name: Marcus Langshaw

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

Eight years or so now?

How did you first become involved as a volunteer?

Adrian Holmes first got me down for the stats for the Be Active Perth Wheelcats & Western Stars. I have been involved with able-bodied basketball since 1998 at the SBL and NBL levels but I was there at the start for helping set up the infrastructure so that the NWBL could get live stats.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

All of the home games and home finals for the Be Active Perth Wheelcats and Western Stars. I thought I would start doing some reffing once but that never really came off!

Which is one of your WSWA highlights?

I think seeing the Be Active Perth Wheelcats win the Grand Final in 2014 on home soil. It was great to see (another!) record-breaking season!

What might people not know about you?

Well i do love my model trains so basketball certainly keeps me sane!

March 2016

Brett Web

Name: Brett Cole

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

Close to three years now?

How did you first become involved as a volunteer?

I first got involved as a practicum work experience to complete my degree in Exercise and Sports Science at ECU.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

The Junior ‘Little Dribblers’ program has been my main area but I have also helped out quite a few camps too as well as the Quiz Night.

Which is one of your WSWA highlights?

Seeing some of the younger kids really grow up through the program like one of junior members Brock. Seeing kids like him grow up not just in a sporting sense but also growing up as wonderful young people is really great.

What might people not know about you?

Being in and around the ocean is all the buzz I need to feel happy.

February 2016

Volunteer Travis with a great catch

Name: Travis Feakes

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

I first joined Wheelchair Sports WA in 1994.

How did you first become involved as a volunteer?

I have been a member of Wheelchair Sports for many many years however I first became involved as a volunteer in July 2015. I was watching our Junior Team – the Black Ducks, train on a Tuesday night and I was talking to a couple of the coaching team and offered up some insight into training and recommended a few drills that could be useful. Following that, I shortly became involved with the Junior Team as Assistant Coach.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

As an athlete with a disability myself, I’ve had the chance to try quite a few different sports conducted by Wheelchair Sports WA, ranging from Wheelchair Basketball to Track and Field and Wheelchair Tennis.

Which is one of your WSWA highlights?

Although I tried many sports, my main sport was field (Javelin, Discus and Shotput). In 2003 at a National Junior Games, I broke all three Australian Records and was also awarded Athlete of the Meet for the Games. That was a great trip!

What might people not know about you?

I like to think of myself as a people person whom anyone can talk to. I’m very open minded and love a good Challenge, which is perhaps what drew me towards the Junior Wheelchair Basketball team! In a social environment I enjoy some friendly banter and love to have a good laugh. As a coach on the court, I consider myself to be firm but fair (but secretly I’m just a big teddy bear!)

January 2016

Name: David Frost-Barnes

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

Since 2007.

How did you first become involved as a volunteer?

I first started down at Athletics training when I went with my son – Luther. There was a ‘Paralympics Come and Try’ event which was held down in Bunbury which was facilitated with the support from Wheelchair Sports WA. We actually drove all the way down from Perth because we missed the Perth Come and Try session! It was then from watching, helping, fetching that it all evolved!

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Athletics, junior and family camps, various committees over the years, come and try events and Christmas parties then I’ve also gone over to Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra for National Championships. I’ve done a fair bit of travelling with Luther it is fair to say!

Which is one of your WSWA highlights?

Going to the Junior Paralympics in Canberra was great, also seeing Frank Ponta get blown across the track in Sydney because the wind was so strong. That was a great trip.

Give us one fun fact about yourself! 

I’m a serious caver! I’ve always loved exploring and adventures so that is a big hobby of mine.

November 2015

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Name: Elissa Thomson

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

Joined in 1999 when I moved over from Victoria.

How did you first become involved as a volunteer?

As a member, I think it was the 1999 Nationals that were held in Perth. I was swimming weekly in Victoria and then carried on in WA. Mum did the research and got me into it with Frank Ponta on Sunday mornings at Belmont. I remember seeing all of the other sports at the Nationals and from there went into Track & Field and basketball.

Volunteering – I have recently started helping out the Junior Basketball Program and it is great to be able to give back to the kids coming through.

What is one of your WSWA highlights?

I think winning “best & fairest” female competitor at the 2001 Junior Nationals… More recently I think getting my qualification in scuba diving so that I can go out with my partner.

Give us one fun fact about yourself! 

I have an incredibly specific routine for hanging out my washing. It is the same every single time and cannot be messed with…  I’m talking about having the same colour pegs on certain items! Don’t even try to offer me a white peg for a black top…

October 2015

Craig Bartlett

Name: Craig Bartlett

How many years have you been involved with Wheelchair Sports WA?

I was involved from around 2006 to 2013

How did you first become involved as a volunteer?

I got married in! I met Kim Robins’ sister at Warwick leisure centre. She got me down to the Osborne Park for the State Competition so I played a season then. Before I knew it, I got the assistant gig for the Juniors and then went full time.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Junior Basketball obviously, camps, state and social basketball competitions. U23 development camps, I was the 2009 Team Manager for the Paralympic Youth Games. Went to a few Kevin Coombs Cups and then the Perth Youth Games

Which is one of your WSWA highlights?

Seeing the look of pride on the faces of all the parents. The independence that came to the kids after they had travelled for the first time. Despite all the grief, it was worth it. Teaching the kids how to get in and out of their chairs was also pretty fun! Mainly to watch the reaction of the parents!

Give us one fun fact about yourself! 

I’m a huge fan of 1980s TV series.

 

September 2015

HEA Neurological physiotherapist Claire Tucak (right) with stroke survivor Yvonne Long at a rehabilitation class at Hollywood Hospital. 30 April, 2012. Fairfax Online and Financial Review Out.

Claire Tucak (right) with stroke survivor Yvonne

Name: Claire Tucak

How many years have you been involved with Wheelchair Sports WA?

Since 2007

How did you first become involved as a volunteer?

I first got involved from the Spinal Ward (Ward 11) at Shenton Park where I was a physio back in 1995. We rotated round the wards and I became pretty passionate about the rehab side. I remember doing recreation and social trips with the patients and coming along to Osborne Park. After that, as a member of the APA (Australian Physiotherapy Association), I remember seeing a newsletter come through in 2006 about classifications and how to become a classifier and that’s how I got involved with the sports, in particular wheelchair rugby.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Athletics, Wheelchair Rugby, helped out the Paralympic Footballers with some of their classifications and then some wheelchair basketball. Other than that, I’ve come along to the Sports Awards and a Quiz Night as well as plenty of Come and Try events back in the day!

Give us one fun fact about yourself! 

I’m a fluent French speaker??

August 2015

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Name: Peter “Dj Yogi B” Houlis

How many years have you been involved with Wheelchair Sports WA?

Since 2007.

How did you first become involved as a volunteer?

Through Ben Ettridge, the then coach of the Wheelcats. I then got straight into the Wheelchair Rugby as Coach.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

Nearly everything! Wheelchair Rugby, Mechanic, Quiz, Sports Awards, Spoked, Court Announcing and entertainment at home games, Taxiing the bus around for anyone and everyone. Poker nights helping out with the handcycling events too, play wheelchair basketball in the state league!

Which is one of your WSWA highlights?

Winning the Volunteer of the Year in 2009 – First award as a volunteer, year of poker games and bringing the rugby competition up as well as fixing lots of chairs, getting the team back into the Nationals. It was the first year we got an all WA side to Nationals. Great year!

Give us one fun fact about yourself! 

Absolute freak when it comes to NCIS or Star Wars. I love them both dearly. If you want to go Star Trek, then Next Generation if you want to get picky.

July 2015

Name: Peta Holmes

How many years have you been involved with Wheelchair Sports WA?

Ever since Mum was reffing at State Competitions back at Shenton Park! Mum never got a babysitter, so we grew up on the side of the court. We just got told to “shut up and score!”.

How did you first become involved as a volunteer?

The reffing at Shents started when I was maybe 8-10 years old? Got really drawn to the personable relationships that you get with the members and it is really the growing & achievement that you see in the members that you get fulfilment from.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

State comp, Nationals & rugby. Christmas functions.

Which is one of your WSWA highlights?

Wheelcats winning the Championship on home soil last year. Doesn’t get to happen often but it’s great when it happens.

Give us one fun fact about yourself! 

My favourite saying “live for the moments you can’t say in words”

 

June 2015

Caitlin Dransfield 062015

Name: Caitlin Dransfield

How many years have you been involved with Wheelchair Sports WA?

I started in August 2011 so nearly 4 years

How did you first become involved as a volunteer?

I was studying certificate IV in Sport Development and we had to do work experience. My lecturer knew I wanted to work in the sport and disability field so she suggested I gain some experience at wheelchair sports and I have never left.

Which WSWA programs have you been involved in?

I am the coach at little dribblers and have also helped out at the family camps

Which is one of your WSWA highlights?

One of the highlights would have to be the minute to win sessions at little dribblers and seeing the kids doing ridiculous things like trying to eat Oreo’s without using their hands. The tissues wars were always fun, but I was always the one cleaning up the mess 😛

Give us one fun fact about yourself! 

Why did you have to put that question in??

I had baby teeth until I was 18 years old.When I finally lost them I got implants as I had no adult teeth beneath the baby teeth.

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