By SANFL Media
Australian Football in South Australia is set to become even more accessible with the creation of the Novita SANFL Wheelchair Football League.
Spinning off in July, the inaugural competition will initially include teams representing four SANFL clubs – Central District, Norwood, Sturt and Woodville-West Torrens.
Played on a basketball court with goal posts at either end, Wheelchair Football involves teams of five facing off against each other with two defenders, two forwards and one midfielder.
A handball in Wheelchair Football is equivalent of a ‘kick’ and an underarm throw equates to a ‘handball’ as per regular Australian Football rules.
Teams can be mixed gender, including a blend of players with, and without, a disability, ensuring the sport is attractive for everyone to participate.
”It’s a fast, fun, tactical and skilful game and we encourage everyone to give it a go,” SANFL Disability Programs Coordinator Nathan Pepper said.
”South Australia has been a four-time champion at the Wheelchair Aussie Rules National Carnival from 2016 to 2019, so the new league will build on this success and create an opportunity to play regularly in a local competition.”
One of South Australia’s largest and most respected disability service providers, Novita, is the naming rights partner for the Wheelchair Football League and Chief Executive Officer Greg Ward says the organisation is proud of its association with the SANFL.
“Supporting the SANFL’s Wheelchair Football League is a great fit for Novita, which not only focusses on delivering the best services and supports for people living with disability, but also works in the community to improve disability, understanding and inclusion,” Mr Ward said.
“Competitions such as the Novita SANFL Wheelchair Football League provide people living with disability an opportunity to get involved in organised sport, which is great for their fitness and wellbeing, as well as providing a community and social environment.”
Wheelchair Football in SA also is being supported by the Federal Government’s Department of Social Services.
SANFL will host a Come and Try event this Sunday May 23, from 2pm to 4pm at The Lights Community and Sports Centre, Lightsview, with sports wheelchairs available to borrow on the day.