Australian Paralympic Winter Team for PyeongChang 2018 announced


Australian Paralympic Winter Team for PyeongChang 2018 announced

The Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) has announced the 13 athletes who will hunt for Australia’s first Paralympic Winter gold medal since 2002 at the PyeongChang 2018 Games beginning on March 9.

Co-captained by World Champion and two-time Paralympian Mitchell Gourley (Para-alpine skiing) and double IPC Crystal Globe holder Joany Badenhorst (Para-snowboard), the Australian Team will comprise of four Para-snowboarders, seven Para-alpine skiers plus two sighted guides.

Vision-imparied skier Shaun Pianta, with sighted guide Jeremy O’Sullivan, has also qualified for selection for his first Paralympics and will be a late inclusion if medical staff confirm he has overcome a recent knee injury.

Gourley, the reigning super-combined World Champion in his classification, will headline the Para-alpine squad alongside two-time Paralympian and three-time World Champion Melissa Perrine, who is chasing her first Paralympic medal with her sighted guide Christian Geiger, as well as Australia’s first female Paralympic sit-skier Tori Pendergast who has finished her most successful World Cup season yet.

The experienced trio will be joined by first-timers Jonty O’Callaghan, Mark Soyer, Sam Tait, Patrick Jensen and his sighted guide Lara Falk.

The Para-snowboard squad also includes 18-year-old Ben Tudhope who will compete at his second Paralympic Games, Simon Patmore who will make his Paralympic Winter Games debut after winning bronze as a sprinter at London 2012 and debutant Sean Pollard. The quartet will all contest the Snowboard cross event as well as Banked Slalom which has been added to the Paralympic program for 2018.

“The Australian Paralympic Committee is extremely proud of this team and excited to see what they can achieve together. I’d like to congratulate each athlete on their selection,” said APC Chief Executive Lynne Anderson.

“It is a relatively young team compared to Winter Teams at the past few Games which means it is a golden opportunity to really make a name for themselves with some breakthrough performances. Of course, there is an experienced core of athletes who will lead from the front but there are also a lot of fresh faces ready and eager for their Paralympic debut.

“One thing I know they all have in common is that they are proud Paralympians seeking to reach new heights at the most important event of their careers.”

Chef de Mission of the 2018 Australian Paralympic Team Nick Dean said he has no doubt that this group of athletes will only enhance Australia’s proud history at the Paralympic Winter Games.

“While PyeongChang is set to be the most competitive Paralympic Winter Games yet, we have had some incredible results from both our Para-alpine skiers and Para-snowboarders over the previous four seasons,” Dean said.

“And while it has never been harder to win a Paralympic medal, I am proud to say our athletes are primed and ready to push their limits and hopefully add to the total of 30 Paralympic medals we have won since our first back in 1992.”

The PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games will take place from 9 – 18 March and will be broadcast on the Seven Network.

The Australian Paralympic Winter Team for PyeongChang 2018

Para-alpine skiing
Mitchell Gourley (co-captain) VIC
Patrick Jensen NSW
Jonty O’Callaghan VIC
Victoria Pendergast NSW
Melissa Perrine NSW
Mark Soyer VIC
Sam Tait NSW
Lara Falk (sighted guide for Patrick Jensen) VIC
Christian Geiger (sighted guide for Melissa Perrine) VIC

Joany Badenhorst (co-captain) NSW
Simon Patmore QLD
Sean Pollard WA
Ben Tudhope NSW

***Shaun Pianta (knee injury) and sighted guide Jeremy O’Sullivan have qualified and will be officially selected, pending medical approval, at a later date.

Goalball teams qualify for World Championships!

11th December 2017          

Goalball teams qualify for World Championships!


Blind Sports Australia, with Goalball Australia and the Australian Paralympic Committee are pleased to advise that both the Australian Women’s Goalball team (Aussie Belles) and the Australian Men’s Goalball team (Aussie Storm) have been awarded a place in the Goalball World Championships in Sweden in June 2018.  

The Australian Women’s team are currently ranked 7th in the world, and the men are ranked 23rd. This invite is very exciting for the goalball community in Australia as we have been working hard to provide opportunities and pathways for athletes with a vision impairment. Our senior players are now being rewarded for this commitment to training and competitions to become elite athletes and represent their country.

Aussie Storm players Michael Sheppard and Jon Horsburgh are excited at the opportunity ahead, “It has been a long time since an Australian men’s team has qualified for a world event in Goalball.  It’s been a tough slog, especially in such a competitive region as Asia Pacific, but after a four-year re-building phase our hard work and sacrifice is paying off.  We are working hard to continue improving so we can take it to the best in the world.”

Goalball is a Paralympic sport for people with a vision impairment.  Goalball enjoys great popularity in Australia and around the world and was the 2nd most popular spectator sport at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.  You can check out this amazing sport on YouTube at these links:  or

Goalball is a fast and exciting game where vision impaired athletes try and roll or bounce a bell-ball into the back of their opponent’s goal.  The game is played by partially blind and totally blind athletes and because of this all athletes are required to wear totally blacked out eyeshades to ensure a “level playing field” for all participants.  The ball weighs 1.25kg and has bells in it so the players can track the ball and try and prevent it from scoring.  Once blocked that team retrieves the ball and hurls the ball at the opposition team to try and score themselves.  The fastest throwers in the world have been timed at throwing the ball up to 90km per hour!  Needless to say, the thought of blocking a 1.25kg ball with your body when you can’t see it coming and it is travelling up to 90km an hour means that this game is not for the faint hearted!


For more information, you are welcome to contact Pam Hyden, Goalball Australia President at or Mob: 0420 207 712.

Athletes and Medicare Rebates

Correspondence from AIS Chief Medical Officer, Dr David Hughes providing an update on Medicare rebates for professional sportspeople

Athlete and Medicare Rebates

AMP’s Tomorrow Fund

AMP’s Tomorrow Fund is once again offering $1 million in grants to amazing Australians doing great things – including sportspeople.

Now in its fourth year, this unique grants program is open to individuals of all ages, walks of life and abilities. In 2016, AMP’s Tomorrow Fund awarded 53 grants Australians with a desire to give back – be it through creating something special or inspiring others.

AMP is seeking more talented and innovative Australians who are working hard on a project or passion but just need a financial boost to take it to the next level.

Grants of between $10,000 to $100,000 can cover a range of activities, including training, travel and equipment costs, living expenses, rent and research.

While groups and organisations are not eligible, please encourage your colleagues and community contacts to learn more or apply online at

Applications open Monday 3 April 2017 and close at 4pm (AEST) on Tuesday 16 May 2017. The AMP Tomorrow Fund website’s Tips and tools section includes FAQs and useful resources such as downloadable posters, fact sheets and a sample application. The site also features profiles on our past recipients, known as AMP Tomorrow Makers, as well as short videos.

Please help us to attract diverse Australians who are passionate about creating a better tomorrow for everyone. If you require more information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

Aimee Garsuta | AMP Foundation Coordinator | AMP Foundation
Level 24, 33 Alfred St Sydney NSW 2000 AUSTRALIA | T +61 2 9257 5334 | F +61 2 9257 2002 |

Transitions out of high performance sports in athletes with disabilities

Dear Sir / Madam,

My name is Adriana and I’m a student of the International Master’s programme in Adapted Physical Activity (IMAPA) which is in partnership between the KU Leuven (University of Leuven, Belgium), the University of Olomouc (UP, Czech Republic), and a number of associate partners across Europe. The director of the programme at the KU Leuven is Prof. Yves Vanlandewijck, and the responsible during the studying period at the Palacký University in Olomouc is Prof. Martin Kudlacek. At this moment I’m on the second year of the programme and at the end of this academic year I will have to defend my Master’s Thesis.

After conducting a literature review, it was found that there is a lack of knowledge in the field of
transitions out of high performance sports in athletes with disabilities. Therefore, the purpose of the study is to increase the knowledge in this field by providing more insight about the current situation of transitions out of elite sports, and to identify how many athletes might be at risk of suffering psychological distress during it. It will be focused mainly on athletic identity and self-esteem, where a group of retired athletes will be compared to a group of active athletes. Additionally, depression and perceived stress levels will be assessed.

Moreover, due to the continuous increases on participation at the Paralympic Games (e.g. from
4,237 athletes in London 2012 to 4,333 in Rio de Janeiro 2016) there might be a moment when a
large number of athletes will retire at the same time. Therefore, the results from this study can be
valuable for Sport Organizations, Institutions and sport psychologist to be better equipped, in order to give an appropriate support for the athletes with disabilities who can be at risk of developing emotional adjustment problems.

At this moment I’m trying to contact possible participants that are willing to voluntarily participate in this study. Therefore, I was wondering if you could help me to find potential participants by letting them know about this research. I’m looking for high performance athletes, both active and retired athletes, either male and female, that have participated at the Paralympic Games, with any kind of physical or visual impairments.

Participation in this study will just require to answer an electronic survey, where different
questionnaires are gathered (demographic questions, Athletic Identity Measurement Scale,
Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Beck Depression Inventory and Perceived Stress Scale), and to send
a signed informed consent for participation (which is provided inside of the survey).

This is the link of the survey in English:

And this is the link of the informed consent:

I will be very pleased if you could help me to recruit participants for my research.

I’m also attaching a letter (PDF) where I present the study.

Thank you very much in advance,

Yours sincerely,

Adriana Marin Urquiza

AusPlay Participation data for the sport sector

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) aims to make Australian sport stronger.

The AusPlay Survey (AusPlay) is a key pillar of Play.Sport.Australia. the ASC’s game plan to get more Australians participating in organised sport more often.

This is a summary of key national findings. 


2016 Australian Paralympic Team Receives Nine Extra Spots

Displaying image002.jpgAPC MEDIA RELEASE

MONDAY, 29th AUGUST 2016


2016 Australian Paralympic Team receives nine extra spots


The Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) has today named a further nine athletes on the 2016 Australian Paralympic Team today, bringing the total and final number of selected athletes to 178.


The last minute selections follow on from the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) decision to dismiss an appeal by the Russian Paralympic Committee against its suspension from the Rio Games by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).


Additional qualification slots have been allocated to Australia in the sports of goalball, athletics and wheelchair tennis.


Chef de Mission of the 2016 Australian Paralympic Team Kate McLoughlin said that although the new allocation was received under difficult circumstances, she was thrilled that more elite Australian athletes would get the opportunity to compete at their respective sport’s pinnacle event.


“The Australian women’s goalball team has achieved some strong results internationally since London 2012 and I’m sure they will grab this opportunity with both hands. We’re also excited to welcome two new members to our athletics team and one to our wheelchair tennis team, all of whom will be making their Paralympic debut,” McLoughlin said.


“While we do feel for members of the Russian Paralympic Team who were not involved in the doping scandal, we support the IPC’s decision to fight against doping in sport and are now looking at the opportunity ahead for these nine athletes.”


Having narrowly missed out the final qualification spot for the Rio Paralympic Games last year, the Australian women’s goalball team are thrilled to be given the opportunity to compete at their second consecutive Games. Spearheading the team will be London 2012 Paralympian and team captain Meica Horsburgh, who will lead fellow London 2012 campaigners Nicole Esdaile, Michelle Rzepecki, Tyan Taylor and Paralympic debutantRaissa Martin.


In addition to the Australian women’s goalball team, Sarah Calati will become the only female in the 2016 Australian Paralympic wheelchair tennis team, while Jesse Wyatt and Tamsin Colley will bring the total number of athletics team members to 46.


Colley will also be the youngest athlete on the entire 2016 Australian Paralympic Team, at the age of 13 and 362 days on the day of the Opening Ceremony.


Speaking on behalf of the Australian women’s goalball team, Horsburgh says she is grateful to be given the spot her team should have received, but knows the team will be at a disadvantage having not maintained the same level of training since last year.


“We have missed out on a big lead up and a lot of the preparation but it really does come down to how you play on the day, and I feel honoured and grateful to be given this opportunity,” Horsburgh said.


“It’s not exactly how I would have imagined qualifying for a Paralympic Games but it is an opportunity that the each athlete on the team will grab with both hands. I believe we have a great team full of athletes who will back each other to the end, and that will be our advantage.”


The Australian women’s goalball team have completed a three-week intensive training course, to give them the best chance possible of success at the Games.


All nine athletes have commenced their final preparations for the Games, and will depart for their respective staging camps this week. 


The Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games will be broadcast live on 7TWO at 7am on September 8.


For more information, interview requests or high resolution images, please contact:


Sascha Ryner | Media and Public Relations Coordinator

Australian Paralympic Committee | PO Box 596, Sydney Markets NSW 2129

T: +61 2 9704 0543 M: +61 416 858 419 E: W:

Goalballs, Futsal, Torball and Showdown equipment

If you are looking for equipment for Goallball, Futsal, Torball or Showdown(Swish) then go to Handilife Sports

CAS welcomes Labor $300m commitment to preventative health

Saturday 18 June 2016

CAS welcomes Labor $300m commitment to preventative health

The Confederation of Australian Sport welcomes the Labor commitment of $300 million towards health promotion and disease prevention announced by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Health Minister Catherine King in Wyong earlier today.


“In particular CAS applauds the commitment to establishing Australia’s first National Physical Activity Strategy as an important step towards combatting unacceptably high levels physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour,” said CAS President and CEO Rob Bradley.


An important ingredient of the National Physical Activity Strategy will be to foster and encourage community sporting clubs and physical activity through the school system to provide the foundation for a healthy active lifestyle.  Australia’s 20,000 community sport clubs already contribute significantly to the required levels of moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA) which is essential for individual health improvement but many clubs need help. 


We regularly hear that the Health system is under stress and that the costs of obesity and related conditions cost the nation more than $60 billion each year. It is essential that the next Australian Government invests strongly in preventative health strategies to reduce the increasingly unsustainable reliance on the health system.


While over 14 million Australians participate in organised or non-organised sport each year only 19% of children (5-17 years) and 43% of adults currently meet the Australian Government’s Physical Activity Guidelines.  With a targeted strategy and commitment to assist the sport, education and health sectors work together on increasing participation in physical activity there are huge benefits to be gained for individuals as well as the economy.


“A 2014 Deakin Health Economics1 report estimates that a 15% improvement in the levels of Australians meeting the national Physical Activity Guidelines would save the Health system over $434m per year, avoid 3,000 deaths and 10,000 new cases of disease,” said Bradley.


Community sport is an integral, inclusive and traditional part of Australian society readily accessible across the nation through an extensive, established and scalable network – it is essential that sport is strongly supported in the National Physical Activity Strategy as a highly effective instrument in preventative health.


– ENDS –


Media enquiries can be directed to:

Rob Bradley                                               

President and CEO Confederation of Australian Sport

T: 0412343651


Confederation of Australian Sport

The Confederation of Australian Sport (CAS) is an independent, not-for-profit association with a 30 year history of advocating the social, economic and health contribution that Australian sport makes to the nation.  CAS conducts Australia’s largest multi-sport event the Australian Masters Games every two years.