Forty Victorians have made history after being drafted to AFL Clubs as part of the inaugural Robert Rose Foundation Victorian Wheelchair Football League (VWFL).
We have partnered with AFL Clubs Collingwood, Essendon, Hawthorn, Richmond and St Kilda to develop five eight-player squads, as part of the first state-wide AFL Wheelchair competition.
Of the 40 players, six females have been drafted to AFL Clubs, along with Paralympians and National Wheelchair basketball representatives. Another 11 participants who have never played wheelchair sports before, were chosen.
The inaugural team selection follows the first mixed gender Draft Combine testing day which saw more than 30 Victorians undergo a range of skill testing.
The VWFL Draft Combine was carried out by Global Performance Testing Australia, in conjunction with Disability Sport & Recreation and AFL Victoria. It was the first time AFL Wheelchair players had to record their data in a controlled testing environment.
AFL Victoria FIDA Football & AAA Programs Manager, Scott Nicholas, said the Draft Combine was an important step forward for the sport.
“The VWFL is the only regular AFL Wheelchair competition in the state, so we are delighted to be able to conduct the first mixed gender testing day in order to set the benchmark for the sport’s growth in the future,” he said.
“The League is in a unique position of introducing new athletes to the sport and facilitating the top-level competition, so we want to make sure we’re providing a first-class sporting experience without losing the fun, social and welcoming environment this group has created.”
Supported by The Robert Rose Foundation, the new VWFL competition is the first opportunity people with physical disability will have to play AFL in a regular state-wide competition.
Launched last month, the 10-round competition is open to anyone with physical disability or mobility issues, of all genders. The VWFL is also inclusive of people without disability who want to get involved.
Round 1 of The Robert Rose Foundation VWFL competition will kick off on Sunday May 6 at Boroondara Sports Complex.
Brendan Stroud (Captain)
Louis Rowe (Captain)
Peter Ogunyemi (Captain)
Luke De Vincentis
Matthew Morris (Captain)
Judeland Ajith Antony
Marcus Sander (Captain)