VEWSA has had another successful season of providing an opportunity for players requiring an Electric Wheelchair an opportunity to participate in sport. In the 2010/2011 season the regional competition fielded only 3 teams (compared to 4 teams the previous year) but despite the overall decline in numbers the competition was fierce with some very exciting matches of Hockey, Balloon Soccer and Rugby. VEWSA was also represented in the National Electric Wheelchair Sports in Sydney where our State Team the “Pride Warriors” played valiantly against some very tough competition from all over Australia. The highlights of our year have been travelling to Bendigo for one of our rounds and a weekend in Albury. We are very excited about our recent affiliation with the Australian Powerchair Football Association. Powerchair Football, which is in its infancy in Australia, is played internationally and has the potential for attracting new players to VEWSA.
Our challenge this year and in previous years has been to attract more players to the sport and to encourage players to attend regularly. Sadly two of our regular players have passed away this season and some of our other players have been ill. Other issues affecting player’s ability to attend the sports are transport and availability of carers. We have been very fortunate to obtain the use of a bus generously loaned to us by the Muscular Dystrophy Association for our trips to Albury and Sydney which has enabled more players to participate in these events.
Our committee and volunteers (mostly past and present parents) have been tremendously supportive in the overall running of the sports, helping out in tasks ranging from umpiring, scoring, running bbq and raffles, driving the bus and setting up equipment. VEWSA would like to thank Disability Sports Victoria for the Athlete Development Grant received this year which was used for our very enjoyable and productive weekend of sports in Albury. Players were able to work on their skills and enjoy a nonstop weekend of sport. We have also been successful in obtaining some other small grants to carry out much needed repairs to our trailer, help our State Team get to Sydney, send some players to the Powerchair Football Workshop(also in Sydney) and subsidise the purchase of some specialised guards required for this new sport.
Participation in the sports has had many benefits for our players including gaining skills in each of the sports, developing social skills, building team and leadership skills, making lifelong friendships and gaining confidence. Likewise our volunteers/parents have also acquired skills, formed supportive networks and made friendships.