Daniel becomes a Saint
29 April, 2022
Not all goals are kicked, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be achieved. The Victorian Wheelchair Football League is proof of this. The VWFL exists to provide Victorians with a physical disability the opportunity to play AFL in a fun, social and competitive environment.
The league is based at Boroondara Sports Complex, and runs from May to August, culminating with the Grand Final in September. Five teams take part in the VWFL:
- Collingwood Magpies
- Essendon Bombers
- Hawthorn Hawks
- Richmond Tigers
- St. Kilda Saints
The teams are managed and administered by Disability Sport & Recreation, who work in close collaboration with the AFL clubs
Bayley House staff member, Jordan was a proud member of the St Kilda Wheelchair football team, reaching the milestone of winning a grand final. Jordan decided to try wheelchair football because of his love of AFL and having grown up watching all his mates play able bodied footy. The VWFL gave him the chance to play the game he loves. What Jordan didn’t expect was the feeling of being part of a team and the support of the wider community.
2022 has seen Jordan retire his Saints guernsey but not before he encouraged client, Daniel to try out for the team. Jordan valued his experience so much and thought that Daniel might feel the same way, ‘I thought it would be good for Daniel to challenge himself.’
With six years of wheelchair basketball experience, Daniel was keen to get along to the Saints ‘Come and Try’ day. Daniel quickly realised that he was much more passionate about footy and was also quite excited about the possibility of representing such a big club. In March, Daniel received the news that he had been selected.
In April, a jumper presentation was held on the boundary line at Marvel Stadium in front of a Saints crowd. Daniel loved this and told us that ‘It was awesome, so awesome! A true memorable moment and I felt so excited to be part of a club even though they are red, white and black it’s still so amazing to be part of because normally I’m a Magpie man.’
Daniel proudly took part in his first match late in April, he explained that ‘It felt great to get the ball for the first time but you have to get rid of it as soon as you get it so you’re not pulled up for holding the ball.’ Even though the Tigers came away with the win, he said it didn’t matter because it was all about being able to play and be part of the team.
Daniel’s next match is against Collingwood, if you would like to get along to watch these amazing games and support Daniel, you can find all of the details on the VWFL Facebook page.
Credit to Nerissa Byrne Photography for these awesome shots of Daniel in action!