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.
We first met Sonny and his family when they contacted AAA Play to find a sport for Sonny to join. Sonny played tennis prior to his diagnosis and loved it! Finding an accessible program in his area was the first step towards his sport and recreation goals.
Sonny Rennison has been nomination for the Variety Young Sports Achiever Award. Sonny's has a fantastic attitude in pursuing his passion for sport as well as advocating the importance of participation, regardless of adversity, to his peers and the community.
Recently AAA Play teamed up with the State Government of Victoria and VicSport to promote the AAA Play service to State Sport Associations, Regional Sports Assemblies, clubs, leagues and associations across the state. Sonny helped us to achieve this by featuring in a short video (view here - opens in a new window), participating and speaking on the event panel (view here - opens in a new window) and joining the AAA Play Ambassador team.
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.
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 group.
On the weekends Chelsea has participated in Triathlon Victoria Triathlons and Duathlons. She has 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 a 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.
Harry is passionate about bringing fresh ideas and a positive attitude to motivate people with a disability to have a 'can do' approach to Sport and Recreation. He loves to ask questions, public speaking and generally having fun! Harry's involvement in sport includes a love of athletics, cross country, triathlon, tennis, swimming, AFL, basketball and skiing, including representing Victoria in athletics. He is also completing a Certificate 1 in Work Education: Sport at Victoria University, on top of already successfully achieving a basketball coach accreditation.
Harry is a basketball coach for a division 3 power assist basketball competition team and member of several sporting clubs including Special Olympics (Melbourne Inner East), Hawthorn Triathlon Club, Old Xavier Athletics Club and IST. Harry not only loves participating in sport, he is also pursuing a career in Sport and Recreation. Recently, Harry completed work placement at Disability Sport & Recreation and Special Olympics.
Evie-Rose is eight years old and loves swimming, singing and dancing. She was diagnosed with scoliosis in 2017 and since then has had to wear a back brace to try and prevent the curve in her spine getting worse. She loves being in the water and for the last 3 years, she has been an active member of the Mordialloc Lifesaving Club in their Nippers program. Evie-Rose participates in weekly training sessions and regular competitions with other local clubs, as well as doing weekly swimming lessons at her local pool. Evie-Rose has also put together dance routines for her school's Mordi Idol competition in 2017 and came 3rd! She loves being a part of her drama classes, playing board games, setting her family math challenges and Taylor Swift.
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 Weet 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 first in the first race of the Triathlon Victoria Duathlon Series and third in race two. Monty would like to compete in the future in the sport of Triathlon at Worlds and eventually complete an Ironman.
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.