The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is pleased to be involved in the development of Wheelchair Aussie Rules as an official sport. The ADF participated in an exhibition game held at the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Parkville on 19 July.
The ADF has been an active participant in development of Wheelchair Aussie Rules with Disability Sports Australia and the AFL as it directly supports wounded, injured and ill Service men and women and the veteran community.
Brigadier Matthew Hall said participation in events like this offer a great opportunity to promote the important role that sport plays in physical and psychological rehabilitation.
“Defence is committed to promoting positive mental health, and providing the necessary care, rehabilitation and support to ADF personnel who are wounded, injured or ill is one of Defence’s highest priorities,” said Brigadier Hall.
“Activities like this have the potential to inspire other wounded, injured or ill personnel, their families, and the veteran community to engage in this newest of disabled sports.”
Defence has in place an adaptive sports program for wounded, injured or ill personnel to provide opportunities for participation in sporting events that will advance their rehabilitation.
ADF personnel have attended adaptive sports competitions such as the Invictus Games, Canadian Forces Soldier Allied Winter Sports Camp and the US Marine Corps trials.
Those participating in the exhibition match today are from the 1st Brigade Soldier Recovery Centre in Darwin and are currently undergoing recovery and rehabilitation.
Since participating in the inaugural Disability Sports Australia – ADF National Wheelchair Aussie Rules Carnival in April this year, the group have since initiated a weekly competition in Darwin.
Wheelchair Aussie Rules
The first organised game of competitive Wheelchair Aussie Rules football was played at the RAAF base in Adelaide in 2015. The game was between a team of injured Australian Defence Force personnel undergoing rehabilitation and a Disability Sports Australia team made up of players from South Australia. The game was organized by the ADF, Australian Football League and DSA. The final score was: DSA team 16.8.104 defeated the ADF team 14.5.89.