Powerchair Sports Victoria recently caught up with Michael Murdaca from Melbourne City and Melbourne Hunters Powerchair Teams.
PSV: Welcome Michael, thanks for allowing us some time to ask you a few questions. Tell us a little about yourself?
Michael: Thanks Luke, my name is Michael Murdaca and I am 30 years old. I was born with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy I am a huge sports fan. Go Cats!
PSV: You’ve battled sickness in recent years and haven’t been able to attend many rounds in the last two seasons, how has that affected you? Are you itching to get back?
Michael: Definitely! I haven’t been able to attend as many rounds as I have wanted to in the past couple of seasons but I can’t wait to get back. It’s been hard seeing everything that my team mates have been doing, achieving on and off the court. I think that makes me a bit more hungrier to achieve some team success for the upcoming season. I’ve been fortunate to have some great experiences with the state team but I would love to have some club success too.
PSV: Thinking back to National Electric Wheelchair Sports (NEWS), it took a few years for you to break into the Victorian Pride Warriors team, you got the opportunity to play for ACT, what was that experience like and what drove you to keep trying out for the Victorian team?
Michael: It was super frustrating! I thought I had a lot to offer to the Victorian team but unfortunately I was stuck with a wheelchair that just wasn’t quite up to the level everyone else was. I think playing for ACT was still a great experience though. I got to play with other athletes from different states. Attending NEWS and seeing how competitive it was, how skilled the players were, I think that made me realise how much I needed to improve on my game and why I needed a faster chair to compete with.
PSV: You have joined Melbourne City Powerchair Team for the upcoming VPPL 2020/21 season, what goals do you have for yourself and the team?
Michael: I really want to be more consistent on the court. Being unwell and having some issues with my powerchair hasn’t helped me with that in the past but I am hoping I have bit more luck this season. I want to play my role for the team, be more lethal in front of goal. In terms of team goals it’s pretty simple, I want us to win the league.
PSV: How has powerchair sports changed your life?
Michael: It’s given me a chance to play sport both socially and competitively. I have made so many friends through sports and it has provided a community I can rely on for support.
PSV: What do you bring to your team, what makes you a good teammate?
Michael: I always give 100%. I like mentoring the younger players and being a leader. I’m one of those players that can be serious when it’s needed but switch to just having a bit of fun.
PSV: We all have plenty of memorable moments but which one is your favourite?
Michael: No doubt it’s winning the first powerchair hockey championship at NEWS 2018 and then going back-to-back the following year. It took a while for us to learn the new rules and adapt to the new form of Hockey, it was hard but we put a lot of effort into it and spent a lot of time training. Winning it was a great feeling.
PSV: How do you get prepared for a match? Do you have any pre-game rituals?
Michael: Actually not really! I don’t think I do anything to really prepare for a match, I think I’m just always ready for it.
PSV: Playing powerchair sports isn’t always easy, what is the biggest challenge or barrier you face?
Michael: As I’ve got older, I’ve been getting a few more injuries. My disability makes it a bit sore to play some days which has made it hard to play recently. I’m really looking forward to the new season being in summer as the cold weather has made it hard to drive my powerchair and do what I want on the court.
PSV: Who has inspired or motived you the most when it comes to powerchair sports?
Michael: Definitely my close friends who played powerchair sports alongside me. They have guided me so much with not just sports but issues with my disability and my life.
PSV: Thanks for spending some time with us, one final question, if you were able to go back in time and see yourself playing powerchair sports for the first time again, what advice would you give?
Michael: Serious answer? Start working on getting a StrikeForce as soon as you can.