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N.E.W.S 2013 Report

National Electric Wheelchair Sports (N.E.W.S) Report

It was that time again. Like the last few years, National Electric Wheelchair Sports were held in Narrabeen NSW in April 2013. Andrew Brandreth (Captain), Jamie McBryde (Co Vice Captain), Luke David (Co Vice Captain), Jules North-Coombs, James North-Coombs and Josh Rycken were the 6 players from VEWSA, chosen to represent the Victorian State Team (Pride Warriors). The emergency player for this year was Daniel Maugeri who got the chance to represent ACT at this year’s games.

We arrived in Narrabeen on the Monday, but don’t worry about Monday, the competition started on Tuesday and that’s all we want to hear about, right? Tuesday was all about Balloon Soccer. Last year, we got into the final and played QLD in what was possibly the greatest game of soccer I’ve played in, we went down in extra time by a goal. Of course, we wanted to make up for that this year. Everything started off great with a string of wins against SA and NSW. Our 3rd game was against the reigning champs QLD. We went down 3-1. It was a taste of what was to come.  We defeated ACT and WA to set up a grand final rematch on Saturday. The final on Saturday got everyone at NEWS excited.  We were all hoping for another classic battle but…….. unfortunately, that will have to wait another year after we went down to QLD 5-1 and finished up second.

Hockey! Our sport, the one true sport Victoria excelled at. Ever since I have been playing at NEWS (ie since 2006), Victoria hasn’t been able to go back-to-back in Hockey. Not sure if anyone else knew that, but that was on my mind the whole week and I was determined to change it. Our round robin games went terrifically well. We ended Wednesday undefeated with our closest game being against last year’s runners up QLD, which ended 5-3. A different year, a different opposition, we were to face NSW in the final and what a final it was! Over the past, VIC and NSW have had some intense, tough finals. The whole game was close, so close that it went through extra time and still there was no winner. That meant a penalty shootout was going to be the decider. It was obvious who all the spectators were going for, after all Victoria were the masters at Hockey, so it was understandable that everyone was cheering for NSW the underdogs. I have to be honest, I wasn’t extremely confident.

Not because of our penalty takers, but because of our performance during the game. It wasn’t our best match and that’s not taking anything away from NSW. They played extremely well, which put pressure on us and caused us to make silly mistakes that we wouldn’t usually make. Jules, James and I were chosen to take our shots, while Andrew was chosen to be goalie. I didn’t end up taking my shot, which I was happy about because James and Jules both scored amazing goals, while Andrew saved both of NSW’s shots. We were once again Hockey champions.

Thursday came Rugby. It was a disappointing day to say the least. We finished the day with just a single win. Two losses against QLD and SA were only by 6 points, close games but practice is needed. We were smashed by NSW, who were eventual winners and by WA. Victoria has never had success in Rugby. We have been close a few times, but in NEWS 28 year history, Victoria has never won Rugby. One day that will change and we hope that’s sooner rather than later. Since we lost 4 games in Rugby, we lost the Roger Melynk which is the trophy for best overall team by 1 point.

That was the competition in a nutshell.  We tried our best but there is always room for improvement. I was pleased to see that there were no chair tip overs this year mainly due to a crackdown on unnecessary ramming.  It was also good to get together on the Friday for some social games of Powerchair Football and later on that night for the All Australian vs the All Stars games.

On a personal note I would like to thank Dejay Medical for coming to my rescue and sending a technician to replace a faulty motor on my wheelchair at short notice. On behalf of myself and the players I would like to thank all those who support us and make it possible for us to go to the Nationals.  A big thankyou to our dedicated carers/parents, all the things you do for us are greatly appreciated and we couldn’t do it without you. Thankyou also to our generous sponsors Pride Australia and Motion Wheelchairs, the Muscular Dystrophy Association for the loan of the bus, our coach and bus driver Hans Boers and Photographer Bill McBryde. We also had the return of our very own cheer squad with Craig Kilby and Lorraine Carter once again attending. It was great to have your support. Once again we have had a great year at NEWS but more importantly we have loved every moment of it.





Balloon Soccer Queensland Victoria Western Australia
Hockey Victoria New South Wales Queensland
Rugby (Touch) New South Wales South Australia Western Australia

Victoria Best and Fairest:

Andrew Brandreth

Overall Best and Fairest:

Andrew Brandreth

All Australian Team:

Andrew Brandreth, Luke David (Vice-Captain)

All Stars Team:

Jamie McBryde, Jules North-Coombes, James North-Coombes

By Luke David