AAA Play is thrilled to have the support and voices of a diverse and passionate group of Ambassadors. All of our Ambassadors donate their time to champion the Access for All Abilities program.
Matt Lewis is a local Pakenham guy who as a result of an explosion has been left with multiple amputations and several injuries.
Despite this, Matt is pursuing his love for the sport of Wheelchair Rugby or 'Murderball' as it's lovingly referred to, and has recently moved temporarily to play the sport competitively in the United States. Despite the challenges Matt has faced, he is moving forward and in the process aims to inspire others with the experience of his journey.
Matt hopes to compete in the Paralympics in Rio de janeiro in 2016 and currently represents Victoria in Wheelchair Rugby.
AAA will be following Matt's journey whilst he is in the US. Stay tuned through Twitter, facebook and right here on our website for news stories.
Hannah Macdougall is a dual Paralympian, previous World Record Holder, has captained the Australian Swimming Team at both a World Championships and Paralympic Games, completed a double degree in Sport Science and Sport Management with Honours, and still manages to find time to locate coffee hotspots around Melbourne! We are very pleased and privileged to have Hannah contribute to our website; watch this space for more from Hannah!
To read Hannah's blog, go to our home page and click on the News item with Hannah's story.
Quinn is a regular 12-year old boy, who loves playing hockey!
At the age of seven, Quinn was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome; but Quinn and his parents have not let his disability stop him from participating in sports, particularly hockey.
Quinn is a part of the Essendon Hockey Club, who have been very welcoming and inclusive of Quinn, so that he can be a part of the team and enjoy playing hockey. Quinn is the junior team's goal keeper, and a great contribution to the team and club. With the support of Quinns parents and the club, Quinn's disability is not even considered a factor in restricting him to play hockey, and the entire team welcome him with open arms. After all, everyone, despite their abilities, should be able to enjoy any sport they wish to participate in!
Chelsea sporting career began with dance at age 5 in her Primary School years. She moved to Ashwood School in 2013 and began to take advantage of the extensive school sporting program.
Chelsea loves to take advantage of any sport opportunity available. Her skills have been developed in the Physical Education program and Chelsea has represented the school in many team sports including Basketball, Netball and Soccer. Ashwood School is actively involved in the School Sport Victoria pathway. Chelsea has represented Ashwood at Regional and State levels in Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics with great success.
Outside school Chelsea continues with her dance classes. She has also joined Inclusive Sports Training swimming group after school and the Melbourne Inner East Special Olympics Swimming.
On the weekends Chelsea has participated in Triathlon Victoria Triathlons and Duathlons. Last week she claimed runner up State Champion in the State Multiclass Duathlon Intermediate division.
Chelsea always displays, enthusiasm, great sportsmanship and keeps improving her skill level. Fun, fitness and friendship have been great outcomes for her with students in and out of school.
Andre has always had a keen interest in sports and was involved in junior football and cricket as well as swimming from a young age. He found his niche in swimming and participated in squad and competition in S14 Multiclass for a number of years despite some long breaks due to a persistent shoulder injury.
In late 2015 Andre discovered Inclusive Sports Training and under the guidance and support of coach Liz Gosper went on to complete his first triathlon, where he was awarded 2015 Multiclass State Open Champion. This was an amazing experience and opened a new world of sport and friendships.
His success and enjoyment inspired his sister Tash to begin triathlon training and together they completed Hawthorn Triathlon Club’s try a tri program. With the encouragement of Tash, Liz (IST) and Hawthorn Tri Club, Andre participated in both the Active Tri Sprint Distance Triathlon and the Martha Cove Olyfest Sprint triathlon with the support of a buddy alongside him. After such wonderful and positive experiences he had the confidence to compete by himself in the Multi Class category for Race 5 of the Gatorade Triathlon Series.
Andre’s efforts and commitment to improve resulted in him receiving the ‘Most Inspiring Athlete’ award from Triathlon Victoria in May 2016. This was a very significant award for him as it gave him the belief and confidence in his sporting abilities.
Alongside his IST mates Andre is currently participating in Triathlon Victoria’s Duathlon Series, multiclass category. He is a member of both the Hawthorn Tri Club, Inclusive Sports Training and an active member of Evado Studios gym.
As well as working part time, Andre helps out at Cycle Collective spin room, where he has had the opportunity to work out with the Victorian Bushrangers cricket team. He also buddies Liz Gosper with swim training and loves the role of mentoring.
His current focus is triathlons and he trains every week on his road bike, in the spin room, at running group and in swim squad.
Andre is very proud to be given the opportunity to be an AAA ambassador and is keen to share his experiences in sport to motivate and encourage others to participate in sporting programs. Participating in sport not only increases health and fitness but also develops friendships and can open up a whole range of life opportunities.
Monty Cooper started in the world of Swim, Bike and Run when he was 6 years of age by doing the Noosa Tingirana Triathlon, a Triathlon for all ages and inclusive of all abilities. From here he began competing in the Wheet bix Triathlon here in Melbourne with a support Buddy, his school swim teacher Anna. Monty then built the confidence and skills to train and compete on his own with an adult Triathlon Squad.
Monty loves to run fast and has won the Victorian Cross Country Championships in its inaugural year. Since then Monty has competed in Western Australia at the Busselton Ironman Kids triathlon and more recently in Indonesia at the Bintan Youth Triathlon. Monty came fist in the first race of the Triathlon Victoria Duathlon Series and third in race 2. Monty would like to compete in the future in the sport of Triathlon at Worlds and eventually complete an Ironman.
Born with a congenital deformity predominantly affecting the use of his legs and subsequent bilateral amputation from just above the ankles at age 9, Jeremy has always played and been involved in sport and recreation. As he says it was his saviour. Always encouraged by family who all played sport and school to be involved, Jeremy played underage cricket for school and a local cricket club but Table Tennis was the go.
Jeremy captained his school Table Tennis team but his greatest sporting triumph was when he represented Australia at the 1988 Paralympics. Along the way he represented Victoria at numerous State and National titles gaining many number one rankings in Table Tennis. After the Paralympics and finishing up with Table Tennis he had a crack at Wheelchair basketball to satisfy is competitive streak, even though this was on a more social level he was invited to try out for the state squad however work and life priorities took precedence. Golf was also a great passion during some of those younger years playing of a best handicap of 19.
Jeremy worked for a number of years as the Sports Development Officer for the then Victorian Disabled Advisory Committee at DSR and Vicsport primarily promoting awareness of the "can do" attitude of People with Disabilities in schools and the local community, and over a period of 25 plus years to this day has worked within the Health and Fitness Industry managing fitness centres and sports stadiums along with coordinating many smaller programs catering for PWDs and thier carers/families to access exercise and recreational activities.
Jeremy follows most sports however Cricket and Aussie Rules are his favourites (Go Hawks, life long member and very spoilt He admits) He now hand cycles up to 100 kms per week recreationally and for fitness and believes he has a story to tell and hopes that by being a AAA Ambassador will enable him to share his story and some of his experiences from his personal and professional journey.
Alex Welsh is from the small country town of Korumburra in South Gippsland, he is the current Australian road race and time trial champion in the H3 category on a hand-bike. Alex grew up racing motocross since he was 5 years old until he had an accident in 2009 resulting in a spinal cord injury. This accident forced him to adapt to life in a wheelchair and establish a new direction in life. Alex balances a busy training schedule with part time work for a wheelchair company, working in schools, and coaching kids to improve their bike riding skills. He has some big goals that include competing for Australia at the highest level in para cycling, becoming the most successful athlete he can be and to encourage others to work hard and achieve their goals.