National Electric Wheelchair Sports (NEWS)

An annual wheelchair sporting competition for athletes who use powerchairs for their everyday mobility. The inaugural NEWS was held in 1986 in Melbourne and featured the sports of Hockey and Slalom. Slalom involved driving through a maze of cones in the fastest time. Slalom was replaced by Balloon Soccer in 1987 in Adelaide, while Rugby League was introduced in 1990 in Melbourne.

NEWS was the brainchild of Roger Melnyk who had Muscular Dystrophy and was the Executive Officer of the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Victoria. He took his idea to the Muscular Dystrophy Associations of Australia and the sports were developed to give athletes an opportunity to compete for their state. The teams competing at NEWS in 2019 are New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. Teams from Queensland, Australian Capital Territory and New Zealand have competed in the past.

This unique sporting event showcases the all-round skills of athletes in three different sports. Each sport is played on its own day in round robin format, with teams awarded 2 competition points for a win and 1 for a draw. The two teams with the most points in each sport progress to the Grand Final, while third and fourth compete for third place. After the three days of round robin competition, the team with the most points in all three sports points is awarded the Roger Melnyk Trophy.

The standard of play at N.E.W.S has improved every year since the first games in 1986.

Victoria at National Electric Wheelchair Sports:

’86, ’87, ’91, ’96, ’97, ’98, ’02, ’10, ’12, ’16 Roger Melnyk Winners

’86, ’87, ’88, ’89, ’90, ’91, ’92, ’93, ’94, ’95, ’96, ’97, ’98, ’99, ’00, ’01, ’02, ’04, ’05, ’08, ’10, ’12, ’13, ’16, ’17 Hockey Champions

’04, ’09 Balloon Soccer Champions

’18, ’19 Powerchair Hockey Champions