Injured veterans get a sporting chance under new agreement

Injured veterans get a sporting chance under new agreement

RSL (Queensland Branch) and Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association have joined forces to improve the health and wellbeing of injured and ill Queensland ex-servicemen and women under a new partnership announced today.

The partnership will encourage ex-serving Australian Defence Force members with physical and/or mental injuries to engage in fitness, rehabilitation and sport programs delivered by the state’s leading adaptive sporting body. This includes accessing Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association’s Bowen Hills gym and rehabilitation centre in Brisbane and services such as home programs and personal training.

The new arrangement is part of RSL’s drive to promote healthy and active lifestyles amongst the members of the Defence community.

RSL (Queensland Branch) CEO, Luke Traini said the two organisations had been working together since 2010, when RSL (Queensland Branch) came on board to support the state wheelchair basketball team, the RSL Queensland Spinning Bullets.

“We have broadened the scope of our relationship and in 2017 our aim is to promote healthy and active lifestyles to members of the Defence community who are dealing with physical or mental injuries,” said Mr Traini.

“By partnering with Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association, we’re confident that together we can make a real and lasting difference in the lives of these veterans and their families.”

Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association Acting CEO Kelli Chilton said the partnership would improve injured veterans’ awareness of and access to the Association’s fitness and adaptive sport programs which benefit hundreds of Queenslanders with a disability each year.

“We have already seen an increase in the number of injured servicemen and women taking part in our social sport programs and competitions in recent years, thanks to some of the work we’ve already been doing with RSL (Queensland Branch),” said Mrs Chilton.

“The success of para-athletes such as Paralympic gold medallist and soldier, Curtis McGrath, together with the international Invictus Games movement, is helping to open injured veterans’ eyes to the possibility of living an active, healthy life.”

“This partnership will help to remove some of the barriers to sport and fitness for injured ex-service personnel, and give them a chance to re-connect with their community and achieve their personal best in life.”

Ex-service personnel interested in learning more about these services are encouraged to contact the Veteran Services team at RSL (Queensland Branch) on vs@rslqld.org