EP in My Pocket: Episode 1

As our access to exercise is changing, so are our delivery methods! To assist in keeping everyone moving during COVID-19 related social isolation, our team of Exercise Physiologists have put together some light-hearted exercise videos for your entertainment (and physical activity!).

Episode 1: “Shoulder Health”

#1 External Rotations

  • Alternate each arm:
    • 3x sets
    • 8-12x reps per arm


  1. Start with a dumbell or object light but challenging enough to complete a full set.
  2. Relax 10-seconds between reps and 1-minute between sets.

Stay safe, and stay tuned!



4 tips on getting back into fitness after some time off.

So, you’ve taken some time off from your health and fitness routine and you are wanting to get back into it. Regardless of the reason for the break, whether it be due to illness/injury or maybe life just got in the way, you might feel overwhelmed about getting back into a fitness routine. That’s perfectly normal, so our Accredited Exercise Physiologists have share some of their top tips on getting back into fitness after some time off.


1 – If the idea of training is daunting, look at hiring a professional (personal trainer, exercise scientist, exercise physiologist, etc.) that can assess where you’re at, and give you a better idea of exercises and training regimes that are suitable for your level of fitness.


2 – Start simple and small. Focus on mastering basic movements then progress to more complicated and heavier exercises when you are ready. This will give your body a chance to adapt and it won’t seem like such a big effort each time you go to the gym. If you go like a ‘bull at a gate’ at the start, you’ll most likely be quite sore and tired so the last thing you’ll feel like doing is that again!


3 – Don’t think that you need to train every single day of the week, or for hours at a time. Starting with as few as one to two 15-30 minute sessions a week in the gym can be incredibly beneficial.


4 – Give yourself plenty of rest in between sets, exercises and workouts and understand that it takes time to achieve good results.


Remember, just because you’ve been limited by an injury you should not believe that this is now your limit. You are more capable than you believe and the only way to achieve anything is to try it first.

Introducing our new CEO, Amanda Mather!

In early August, it was announced that current Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association CEO, John Swete Kelly, would be stepping down in early 2020 after three years of service. It is with great sadness that we farewell John, however, it is with great excitement that we introduce you to the Association’s new CEO, Amanda Mather, who will commence with the Association on 11 November 2019. {Play}

Amanda Mather is currently the General Manager of Queensland’s leading not-for-profit hearing service, Hear and Say. She has broad government, health, community and disability services sector experience with extensive knowledge in service delivery and funding models and proven ability in successfully leading and managing the delivery of large and complex programs. {Play}

Her capability has supported the effective development and operation of new programs for Hear and Say, including Hear to Learn (school hearing screening), Ready Set Shine (school readiness screening), expansion of the private services program and delivery of services internationally. {Play}

Amanda also sits on the CSIA National Reform Council, an innovative panel that exists to drive change and transformation in community services across Australia, and she supports growing the human bionics industry in Queensland as a founding Director of Bionics Queensland. {Play}

Thanks for joining us in welcoming Amanda to Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association. {Play}


Queensland takes home championship shield at 2019 Australian Goalball Championships!

The Queensland Goalball teams have returned victorious from the 2019 Australian Goalball Championships in Adelaide; held 3 – 7 October 2019, winning the State Champion shield for just the second time in history.

In a dominant on-court display, Queensland finished on top of the pool in the Junior, Women and Mens divisions.  We also had 2 Youth players in the combined SA/QLD/VIC team, which finished at the top of their pool as well, seeing all Queensland players making it straight through to the Gold medal matches.

The Queenslanders stamped their authority on the Gold medal matches, winning all 3 divisions by mercy. (When one team gets ahead by 10 goals the matched is declared over, regardless of how much time is left on the game clock).  The combined youth team were defeated by WA in the Gold medal match, winning Silver.

Final Gold Medal match results were:

Juniors: Qld 13 def WA 3

Youth: WA 13 def SA 10

Women: Qld 10 def NSW 0

Men: Qld 13 def WA 3

The Queensland players efforts were rewarded with the following individual honors as well:

(NB: MVP was determined on the Gold Medal Match only, the Highest Goal Scorer and All Star 6 were determined on all round-robin matches)


MVP: Mikhail Othman

Highest Goal Scorer: Sidney Whipp

All Star 6: Sidney Whipp, Oliver Fanshawe


MVP: Meica Horsburgh

Highest Goal Scorer Meica Horsburgh

All Star 6: Meica Horsburgh, Alison Jones


MVP: Jon Horsburgh

Highest Goal Scorer: Jon Horsburgh

All Star 6: Jon Horsburgh, Michael Sheppard

Sport Development Coordinator and coach, Robyn Stephensen, summed up the feeling of the team, “we are obviously ecstatic at these results this week.  But it doesn’t just happen – everyone including the players, coaches, support staff, families and friends have committed 100% to Goalball this year. You can’t have such success without a great culture in the sport.  We train and play hard, but are also very humble in victory as well as defeat. It has been especially pleasing to see the development of the Junior and Youth players, who just keep getting better.”

 Several of our players will head to Japan in early December with the Australian teams for the Asia Pacific Regional Championships, which is the final opportunity to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Queensland are also excited that we will be hosting the 40th Australian Goalball Championships on the Gold Coast in October 2020.

Introducing Cooper Whitestyles

“I’m Cooper Whitestyles, 20 years old and I come from Mackay. I’ve always lived there and I’m one of four children. I was born with Hetroguzus achondroplasia, which is short limb dwarfism, and due to my condition, I’ve had over 30 surgeries during my lifetime.”

The rest is history

“One day I went to a sporting expo where there was a display stand for the Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association and I thought, this is for me. I really wanted to do a sport, find something that I could connect with and get involved in. Well, that was a good day, because the rest is history.

I now play wheelchair basketball and lawn bowls, I’m an ambassador for the Association and I help man the stand at all sorts of expos to get people interested, just like I was. I’m right into sports and absolutely love NRL, but due to my condition can’t play. So, I’m an avid supporter from the sidelines, and usually the guy cheering the loudest.”

“Sporting Wheelies has given me the feeling of inclusion, along with lots of opportunities. It’s given me a sense of belonging to a very special family and I’ve met countless new friends over the last few years, all through my involvement with the Association.

I got into it all because I wanted to play sport, which the Association has enabled me to do. I’ve played lawn bowls at a state competition level, and was the youngest and first disabled guy to win the B grade singles title at our local club open.”

Playing for Australia

“I’ve also played wheelchair basketball at a local and national level for both juniors and seniors. To top it off, I’ve just completed my first year as a rookie for the Perth Red Dust Heelers, where I was awarded the Kevin Coombes award. I was pretty chuffed to get that. I’ve also been selected into the Australian under 23 squad, which is a real honour.

At the moment, I’m training hard to accomplish my goal of playing for Australia in the 2021 World Junior Championships, then I hope to be able to start my open men’s roller journey. That would be awesome.

If you’d asked me years ago if I’d be doing all this now, I would have said no way. But here I am, thanks to the Association and lots of great people who make amazing opportunities happen.”

The Spinning Bullets journey through to 2019 NWBL finals

With 1 round to play in the National Wheelchair Basketball League, the top three teams for finals were set, Wollongong, Perth and Kilsyth. The first two teams involved in the final round were in fact battling for the fourth and last finals position.  The Qld Spinning Bullets traveled to Sydney to face the Blues and entered the final round with a record of 7-9, the Blue a record of 6-10.  The Spinning Bullets needing just one victory to secure their place in the finals.  They won both games, with the second requiring a come from behind victory being 16 points down at the half.

Entering the finals weekend held at the Clem Jones Complex Brisbane the Qld Spinning Bullets would face the Kilsyth Cobras in the 3rd v 4th knockout semi final.  The victor earning a spot in the preliminary final and chance to play in the Championship game, the loser relegated directly to the Bronze medal game.  Kilysth being the only team the Spinning Bullets did not own a win over, with Kilsyth taking all three victories in round 2 albeit by the smallest of margins 1 point and 3 points.

The semi final was a back and forth affair.  Locked at 34 all at half time it set the scene for another close game between the two competitive sides.  the second half proved no different with the Spinning Bullets behind by three points with mere seconds to play.  Tom O’Neil-Thorne hitting a massive 3 point shot as the clock expired to send the game to overtime.  Overtime again proved no different with the teams trading baskets, and the Spinning Bullets again found themselves down by a single point with under 10 seconds to play.  O’Neil-Thorne missed the go ahead bucket but secured the offensive rebound, passing the ball to Matt McShane and sebsequantly found the hot hand of Jordan Bartley who nailed a deep 3 pointer as the clock expired giving the Spinning Bullets a 2 point victory.  The team would progress to the preliminary final.

The Spinning Bullets’ opponent in the preliminary final would be the Perth Wheelcats (14-4), who were defeated in their semifinal by the league leading and defending champion Wollonong Rollerhawks (17-1).  Perth’s regular season record against the Spinning Bullets was 2-1.  Boasting a lineup of some of Australia’s best players and developing players the Wheelcats were hungry for a spot in the Championship game.  The Wheelcats had not featured in finals for two years.

The Spinning Bullets are known for their ‘in your face’ defensive style of play and that was well and truly on display in this game defeating the Wheelcats 78-69.  The Spinning Bullets caused 23 turnovers and grabbed 11 steals whilst only turning the ball over 7 times.

The Spinning Bullets would face the Wollongong Rollerhawks in the Championship game for the second time in two years.  The Rollerhawks were chasing a unprecedented third championship in three years, and with a starting lineup all boasting international experience they were well placed to do so.  The Rollerhawks finished the regular season with 17 wins and 1 loss……but that loss was to the Spinning Bullets.

The Championship game was what the crowd expected.  A high paced, physical display of the countries best wheelchair basketball talent.  Half time and the scores were locked at 37 all.  Unfortunately this is as close as the Spinning Bullets would get to lifting the Championship trophy, as the Rollerhawks went on the claim the victory 71-62 in one of the closest, competitive finals in years.

Queensland’s smothering defence forced the Rollerhawks into deep shots with an expiring shot clock…….which they managed to hit four times throughout the second half.  Queensland were not able to answer back and that was the difference in the game.

Make no mistake however, the Queensland Spinning Bullets are a team on the rise.  With an average age of 24 years this team has the potential to play together for another decade…….the Championship is coming.

QSB 2019 Top Performers

Tom O’Neil-Thorne – 17.7 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 6 apg

Kurt Thomson – 10.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.6 apg

Matt McShane – 8.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 5.6 apg

Jordan Bartley – 8.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.2 apg

2019 Hand Heart Pocket River 2 Reef Charity Ride

Wonderful event; fabulous weather; tremendous fun.

The 2019 River 2 Reef Ride had a chilly start but the day transformed into glorious blue skies, light breezes and a very comfortable max temperature of 25 degrees.

The front riders of the 1,000 strong entry list set a cracking pace from the start. As always, a good percentage of people, particularly family groups called into the Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association rest stop in Dumbleton and made a bit of a social event of it. It was a scene of early morning enjoyment and laughter, backed up by good Aussie rock on the PA.

An outstanding rider on the day was Paralympian Beau Menzies. Beau and Association CEO John Swete Kelly settled in to the 135km ride and found they were wheeling along with a group of 9 ladies from the Activ8 team – a very
capable group of triathletes. John reported that on the hills, Beau was constantly giving the less experienced ladies a helping hand up the hills. A champion effort given Beau had just completed three 12 hour days of sign set up prior to the event.

Sporting Wheelies also had many volunteers helping out on the day. Volunteers stood on many corners directing riders, were at the Dumbleton rest stop and were driving the bus and medic car. Andrew Malayta was the event medic and Mal Porter and Jan Tynan also joined Beau in erecting the 450 signs. This fantastic event is not possible without these selfless, caring volunteers, so a big thank you to all who donated their time to assist.

The number NINE River2Reef Ride was a beauty – bring on number TEN !!!

Mingling over morning tea in the Ville

On 17 August, our Sporting Wheelies Townsville team hosted a morning tea to over twenty (20) of our Association’s longterm lottery supporters. Throughout the morning, our members interacted and  played games with our guests  showcasing Boccia and Goalball and guest athlete Richard Cordukes (Paralympian Gold Medalists) shared his story about his injury and involvement with sports and our Association. We also had some of our members and volunteers briefly speak about their sporting achievements in Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair NRL and Waterskiing. One attendee said, “it was so good to hear people’s stories and get a better understanding of your sports. I will be putting this in my calendar each year”. Overall it was such a lovely day with many compliments and thank yous at the end.

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