Victorian Wheelchair Football League scoring goals
Tuesday 17 July 2018
Fast-paced, competitive and inclusive, the Victorian Wheelchair Football League (VWFL) is showcasing the next generation of footy stars.
The new league is made up of 5 teams, each linked to an AFL club, including Richmond and Collingwood.
The teams are mixed and include diverse groups of players with different levels of ability. Players range from the very experienced to some who have never tried wheelchair sports.
"I gave it a go, and it was lots of fun," said Yasmina McGlone, who plays for Richmond, "it's nice to be part of something where you aren't your disability."
All of the players take part in joint training twice a week, building a strong sense of community not just within the teams but also throughout the League.
“It’s more than a sport, it’s a family,” said Richmond teammate Judeland Antony, “when we play we have a game-face on but afterwards we are like brothers and sisters, we are very connected and take care of each other.”
Along with this sense of comradery, the VWFL has helped players improve their health and confidence, and gives them a new sense of empowerment about what they can physically achieve.
“I feel I have achieved something that I never ever dreamed of. It gives you a boost of motivation that anything is possible in this world,” said Judeland. The games are intense and anyone can come along to spectate “the first time I watched I was on the edge of my seat,” said Yasmina.
The League is managed by AFL Victoria in partnership with Disability Sport and Recreation in Fitzroy.
“The five AFL clubs involved have taken a leap of faith on the league,” said Richard Amon, CEO of Disability Sport and Recreation. “They have welcomed the players into their clubs and provide genuine support.”