To committee members, players, and supporters;
I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all of you here today. I would like to thank our sponsors whose financial support allows us to keep providing sporting opportunities to our players. To all our members, volunteers and to my fellow committee members, thank you for all your hard work throughout the last year. Your support is extremely important for our organisation, it is your dedication and passion that keeps us running and your feedback that helps us to improve.
As mentioned last year we are facing an ongoing battle to attract new players and increase our membership. The 2015/16 Summer Season saw an average of 9.5 players attend. While the Powerchair Football season averaged 6.5 players over the season. Due to a lack of players, both seasons featured rounds where matches could not be played.
Our annual Pride Cup finals were, for the third time, a best of three series featuring the Scorpions and the Dragons. The Scorpions defeated the Dragons in all three sports, but the Dragons fought hard and almost snatched Hockey and Balloon Soccer. Congratulations to both teams for putting on a fantastic event!
This year three representative teams travelled to Sydney, one for N.E.W.S and two for Powerchair Football. For the first time a team of five travelled to Sydney for the Powerchair Football Club Championship. These players got the chance to represent Melbourne City against five other A-League based clubs. The Club Championship will become an annual event where we will again have a team attending in January 2017.
At the N.E.W.S event the Victorian Pride Warriors were crowned Hockey champions for the 24th time and were awarded the Roger Melnyk Trophy for the team with the most wins during the round robin matches. They fell to Queensland in extra-time in the Balloon Soccer final. The Victorian Pride Warriors are finalists for the Team of the Year award at the Disability Sport and Recreation awards to be held next week. In the Powerchair Football Nationals, Victoria finished 5th against more experienced and equipped opposition. It was another improved campaign for Victoria and it was great to see the team awarded the ‘Fair Play’ award. Congratulations to all three teams for doing VEWSA and Victoria proud.
A Powerchair Hockey rink has been donated to VEWSA and over the next few years we will most likely see a transition to Powerchair Hockey as it is introduced into our regional competition and perhaps at N.E.W.S in 2018. N.E.W.S will also likely see further big changes in the near future, with discussions being held for ideas to increase participation and make the event more inclusive of all disabilities.
For the future of our sports it is important that we make all our sports as inclusive as possible, to be able to provide more pathways for our players to play internationally and to address the nationwide decline in numbers. Victoria cannot fall behind, we must push forward, try new ideas and if necessary bring change.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0424 160 174