ParaVics Sports Club
In 1962, the ParaVics Sports Club was formed to help a group of eight athletes with disability compete in national and international sporting competitions. We are proud to be the birthplace of the Victorian Paralympic movement, with our founders Kevin Coombs OAM and Bruno Moretti.
The organisation grew from the grassroots actions of a small group of athletes who were united by the ambition to compete in paraplegic sporting events at an international level.
The group challenged preconceptions and dispelled societal prejudices toward disability in order to achieve this. The organisation demonstrated the potential for a united group of determined individuals to effect lasting social change.
Wheelchair Sports Victoria
The Club transitioned to Wheelchair Sports Victoria (WSV), where it became the leading provider of sport and recreation for people with physical disability. At this stage, the majority of WSV members were Victorians with spinal cord injury, lower limb amputees, spina bifida, cerebral palsy and other physical conditions affecting mobility.
WSV was the governing body for a range of disability sports including basketball, athletics, swimming, rugby, tennis, hand cycling, lawn bowls and shooting.
In 2010 the organisation made a strategic decision to renew its focus and expand its support to include all types of disability, as well as include recreation to cover all types of physical activity. WSV was rebranded as Disability Sport & Recreation (DSR), as it is known today.
Disability Sport & Recreation
With this change in direction, DSR encouraged state sporting associations (SSA) to take ownership of inclusive sports and recreation activities in their community of interest.
With SSAs now delivering inclusive programs on behalf of Sport and Recreation Victoria, DSR took on a person-centred approach to programs and service delivery. This included the introduction of a membership structure and services like one-on- one consultations, the adaptive equipment library and camps for children, while still being responsible for wheelchair rugby and supporting AFL Wheelchair.
In 2019, our board and management group began reviewing the DSR strategic plan and focus to make sure our work, now and into the future, reflects the needs of all Victorians with disability. We believe this requires a shift in focus from person-centred service delivery, to developing our sector as a whole as well as educating the broader community, to make sure it is inclusive of people with disability.
The time is right to create a movement for change where all individuals and organisations who believe in greater choice, access and participation in sport and recreation for people with disability are on board.