N.E.W.S 2011 Report


National Electric Wheelchair Sports (N.E.W.S) Report

Once again the National Electric Wheelchair Sports (NEWS) were held in Narrabeen NSW in April 2011.  The Victorian State Team (The Pride Warriors) consisted of Chris Green (Captain), Jamie McBryde (Co Vice Captain), Luke David (Co Vice Captain), Andrew Brandreth, Jules North-Coombs and Michael Deayton, while Michael Murdaca and Sam Rendell represented the ACT at the games. The Pride Warriors coach was Hans Boers. This year four players were able to attend the games due to the generosity of the Muscular Dystrophy Association who kindly donated the use of the MDA bus.

The sports began with the traditional Opening Ceremony and Service Awards. Congratulations to Chris, Anne and John Green on the acknowledgement of their 10 years of Service. With the formalities over it was time for the competition. It was obvious every player was built up with excitement.

Day 1. Balloon Soccer! We were eager to go one better than last year when we just lost against NSW in the finals. We knew we would be facing tough competition. We couldn’t take any of the opposition lightly. In our first game of the day the team started off slow just edging out SA 2-1. Qld was next, with new players in their team we weren’t sure what to expect. We worked hard as a team which gave us the win 2-1. In the next two games against WA and ACT we started to play better. It was now time for the real test against NSW. It was a tough game with the final score 2-1 against Victoria. We knew we were capable of beating them; we only had to tweak our game to give us a better chance in the finals.

Day 2. Hockey! It was our sport, the sport Victoria had dominated in the 26 history of NEWS, losing only 5 finals. We wanted to go back to back in the hockey. It was a good performance all round from the guys with QLD and NSW fiercely challenging us for a spot in the finals. Qld managed to draw with us while we just beat NSW 2-1 with Andrew scoring a last minute goal to give us a win and secure a spot in the Grand Final against NSW.

Day 3. Rugby! The trophy we desperately wanted. Victoria had never won a Rugby Grand Final, we were close last year but we just fell short. We wanted to play well to get another shot at it. Our first round robin game against SA didn’t go to plan. A disappointing first half and a wrong call in the second half didn’t help our chances and we lost to SA 18-22. We picked up in the next few games but once again NSW was our greatest challenge. We came so close. With a minute to go and the score at 12-14 Andrew kicked the ball and I was right on to it. But unfortunately it had too much power and it went off court before I could get to it. We fell short of making the Rugby Grand Final by 1 game.

After a day of relaxation came the biggest day of the week. Grand Final Day. Just like last year it was us battling NSW in the Soccer. The match started off well, with both teams having early chances to score. NSW gained momentum and then took control of the game. We tried our best but we were just not strong enough to beat the reigning champions with final scores being 2-0 against Victoria. It was time to move on to the next final, Hockey. Our sport, our game. We went undefeated in the round robin matches and we aimed to go undefeated for the whole week. We started slow, very slow. We conceded the first 3 goals and it was going to be hard to get back. We got back into the match with the score at 5-4 and one goal down. An opposition player entering the 3 meter mark gave us a chance for a free hit but it wasn’t called. NSW gained control of the ball and made sure there was no time for us to level the score. It was a disappointing loss to Victoria. Our last game of the day was the 3rd against 4th Rugby final against QLD. We played well winning the game 34-20. NSW went on to claim all 3 trophies and the Roger Melnyk Award which has only been done twice in the NEWS history.

With the games over it was time to forget about all the rivalry and relax and enjoy ourselves at the Presentation night. Congratulations to Andrew Brandreth for his achievement of both the Best and Fairest Award for Victoria and the Overall Best and Fairest for NEWS.  Andrew has also achieved the Victorian record of 242 games at NEWS breaking the previous record of 240 games held by Sam Morgan.  Well done Andrew!

On behalf of the players I would like to thank all those who made it possible for us to pursue our passion in sport and represent Victoria at the Nationals. A big thank you goes to our dedicated carers/parents, you guys are amazing. Thank you also to our sponsors Pride Australia and Motions Wheelchairs, the Muscular Dystrophy Association for the loan of the bus, our coach and bus driver Hans Boers, Team Manager John Green and Photographer Bill McBryde.  I for one am very proud of my team mates and I am sure everyone else is as well. Next year is our year boys!

Sport

1st

2nd

3rd

Balloon Soccer New South Wales Victoria Queensland
Hockey New South Wales Victoria Queensland
Rugby (Touch) New South Wales South Australia Victoria

Victoria Best and Fairest:

Andrew Brandreth

Overall Best and Fairest:

Andrew Brandreth

All Australian Team:

Andrew Brandreth (Captain), Luke David

All Stars Team:

Jamie McBryde, Chris Green and Jules North-Coombes

By Luke David