Our history

Our history

Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association has its origins in the 1960s as a small sports club within the Paraplegic Welfare Association in Queensland.

Sport for people with spinal cord injuries was gaining in popularity as a result of the first Paralympic Games in Rome in 1960, and the ‘Queensland Sports and Social Club for the Disabled’ played an active role in promoting disability sport and raising funds for Queensland athletes selected for national and international competitions.

In 1977, the club became a registered charity in its own right as the Paraplegic and Quadriplegic Sport Association of Queensland.

By the following year, the Association had extended its programs and services to include people with physical disabilities other than spinal cord injuries, including people with vision impairment. The decision was made to change to the current name to reflect the Association’s broader mission and capitalise on the popular term ‘sporting wheelies’ to describe wheelchair athletes.

Today, we are widely recognised as a leader in the field of sport and healthy activity for people with a disability by national bodies such as the Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Paralympic Committee.

Read more about the story of disability sport in Queensland in our 25th anniversary book, “Step by Step we Conquer” (2002).

Black and white historical photo - wheelchair javelin
Historical black and white photo of wheelchair track athlete Yvette McLellan
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