Editor Choice

Editors Letter – Paralympic Edition

T his time last year, I was sitting in my office, staring out the window at the dry, Queensland bush, wondering how I could be the best coach possible. I wanted to talk to the best coaches in the world and find their secrets, to learn what makes their clients champions in sport, business and…

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Sports

Full Speed Ahead For Football’s Pararoos

I’ve played football all my life. I grew up in Germany and was given a football almost before I could walk. I t was an all-consuming passion and the best childhood I could imagine. From my local club, VFR Voxtrup, I made it into the Youth Bundesliga just before I turned 18. I played through…

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Sports

We Are Your Everyday Superhumans

Who would think that a crooner in a wheelchair, singing in a park, would lead to one of the most inspirational videos of the year? W hen Tony Dee was approached to audition for the Channel 4 ‘We’re The Superhumans’ video, he didn’t even have a backing track. So with his wife, he went to…

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Sports

Coaching Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder

AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER AND SPORT The prevalence of ASD has increased significantly in recent years(11). For example, in Australia, it grew 79% in the period 2009-2012(1). Critical challenges of ASD refer to emotional and cognitive tasks, communication, mobility, socialisation and the risks of increased heart disease, obesity and diabetes that the largely sedentary lifestyle associated…

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Sports

Dominating The Down Syndrome Swimming World Champs

I wasn’t a swimmer myself, preferring tennis, AFL and surfing. I only got involved in swim coaching when my son started swimming at age 10. I would take him to the pool, and the coach at the time was looking for some assistants. Because I had a teaching background, I was approached. Initially I helped…

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Sports

Be Prepared To Reinvent Yourself

As a youngster I did a lot of team sport, but I wasn’t very committed as I was very much an individual. It was easy for me to focus on myself as an athlete rather than enjoying depending on a team environment. I fell into cycling in Toowoomba at 14/15 and competed at state level…

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Sports

A Family Culture Fosters Results

I started playing table tennis casually after school on a table they had, then began playing competitively when I moved to Hobart at age 16. I always had a passion for the sport and it was quite competitive due to the popularity of racquet sports in those days – badminton, squash, tennis and table tennis.…

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Sports

We Need More Hunger

I started playing cricket and football in my younger years in Cooma, near the Snowy Mountains. But because the sun goes down at 4pm, you can’t train for those sort of things, so I went indoors and started playing basketball. Because we were very close to Canberra, we played a lot of representative basketball there…

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Sports

One Giant Leap For Inclusivity

I was born in Auckland, NZ in 1984. My grandmother lived across the road from Eden Park, the main stadium in Auckland, so I watched cricket games over her fence, developing a love for the game. I started playing junior level for a club, then moved into representative cricket which allowed me to play as…

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Sports

The Learning Curve of Elite Competition

I first picked up a bow at 7 years old – 57 years ago! Back in the late 50s in the UK, every kid had a bow in their hands that their dad had made, because you made your own entertainment. L ike all kids, I start doing all sorts of sports, playing rugby for…

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Sports

Searching For New Stars

I’ve ridden since I was 4 years old. I came from a non-horsey family who happened to live next door to a girl who had riding lessons at the local riding school. I started there and never really grew out of it! I tried a few other things throughout my career, going to university and…

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Sports

Super Fast, Super Physical, Super Crashes

I started playing wheelchair rugby at 14 in 1995. My accident happened back in 1993 while out bushwalking in Ballarat. I slipped and fell down a cliff, across a road and down another embankment, breaking 3 vertebrae in my neck and damaging my spinal cord. I was lucky that it was winter – I landed…

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Sports

It’s Not All Smooth Sailing

I’ve sailed my whole life. My parents were lifelong sailors and my Dad also raced. He was my first coach when I started racing competitively at 10 years old, originally in New Zealand, and went to my first international regatta at 12 years old. I started in the Optimist class and moved up through the…

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Sports

Aussies All Class for 1st Rio Para-tri

I originally came from a speed water skiing background, competing at the highest level in the sport. I started water skiing at age 7 with my family every weekend. However, at age 23, I had a serious accident on the Hawkesbury river and was helicoptered to hospital with suspected spinal injuries. The result was a…

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Sports

If You Want To Learn About Sport, Try Coaching!

I played rugby league as a kid but had a fairly serious leg break early on at age 11, which rather ended that. I wasn’t particularly sport-oriented or athletic through school. At 20, I was working in a bank and one of the tellers who was about the same size as me, 6’6, said, “I’m…

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Sports

Advancing Paralympic Classification Through Science

INTRODUCTION The Paralympic games is organised by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and is the 3rd largest sporting event in the world after the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup. At the elite level of Paralympic sport, it is sometimes perceived that classification can play a major role in deciding the medals. With Paralympic…

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Sports

Perfect Processes Create Performance

As a young kid, I watched Dawn Fraser and all the legends of the day competing at the 1960 Olympic Games on TV. A t 12, I was mucking around at the local pool at Drummoyne in Sydney when the coach tapped me on the head and said, “Who coaches you?” “Oh, I don’t have…

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Sports

Roll on Rio

I grew up in a small country town, 3 hours out of Perth. When the basketball boom started to take off in the late 80s and early 90s, I decided it was something I wanted to play. There was no indoor court in town, only outdoor bitumen courts with wooden backboards and chain hoops. T…

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Sports

Tackling Inequality On The Biggest Stage

My first involvement in para-sport happened before I joined the Australian Paralympic Committee. I was working for Swimming NSW as their Executive Director. A t that stage, Swimming Australia had employed one of the first staff members of any sport to look after “swimmers with a disability”. She wrote policies for the board and competition…

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