Inclusive Sports at the Arnold Sports Festival 2019

14 March, 2019

Spire (Spinal Injury Resource & Support Network), a division of AQA Victoria, is coordinating a range of inclusive sports during the Arnold Sports Festival. Eight exciting sports and activities will be demonstrated over the Friday (15th), Saturday (16th) and Sunday (17th March).

On the Friday, 15th March, groups of school kids will participate directly with Wheelchair Softball, Fully loaded Softball, and Para-Badminton.


The majority of these sports are available for people to play at a local level or at the highest level like the Paralympic Games.  Many of the athletes taking part in the event are Paralympic or World Championship medalists.

In fact a couple of the coordinators like Naz Erdem and Josh Hose are multiple gold medalists in the exciting game of Wheelchair rugby.

Wheelchair Softball

Softball Australia is thrilled to be involved in the 2019 Arnold Sports Festival showcasing two exciting new programs, Fully Loaded Softball and Wheelchair Softball.

Fully Loaded Softball is a ground breaking new format of softball for all ages and abilities that puts the excitement in games from the first pitch. A more exciting, faster and inclusive format with bases loaded from the first innings meaning big scores, more home-runs and plenty of action, packed in short 3 inning games.

Wheelchair Softball is an exciting new program recently launched in Australia for the first time. This social program utilises slow pitch softball rules, modified equipment and caters to the needs of people of all ages and abilities.

With the addition of these exciting new programs, Softball Australia is committing to ensuring Softball is a welcoming, accessible and inclusive sporting option for people of all ages, cultures, gender and abilities.


Para-Badminton is a sport for all. Para-badminton is a sport which can be played by both men and women of any age with a physical impairment. It is a growing sport that is attracting more and more participants every year both competitively and socially. 

Official rules and regulations were agreed upon in 2013 and in 2014 it was selected to be played in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Paralympics. 2020 will be para-badminton’s Paralympic debut. 

Like badminton, para-badminton is played on a rectangular court separated by a net with a shuttle. The aim of para-badminton is to, using a racquet, pass the shuttle from one side of the net to the opposing team on the other attempting to force an error in the opposition thus winning a point. 

Badminton is truly a sport for all and we have opportunities for you to play this exciting game. It provides many benefits, including greater social interaction, physical exercise and a better well-being. It does not matter if you are new to the sport, not currently active we cater for everybody and want you to come and play badminton. 

Powerchair Football (soccer)

VEWSA gives people who use power wheelchairs the opportunity to play competitive sport. Sports include Powerchair Football, Powerchair Hockey and Rugby League across two seasons during the year. Powerchair Football and Powerchair Hockey are played at the international level and VEWSA enables a path to national and international representation. VEWSA will be showcasing Powerchair Football at the Arnold Sports Festival on the 15th and 16th of March.”

Powerchair Football is another modified version of Soccer for users of electric wheelchairs. The sport originated in France during the 1970’s and was introduced in Australia in 2011. The sport is played with two teams of four players. Players use their electric wheelchair to push and ‘spin-kick’ a 330mm Football.

Powerchair Football is a very tactical sport that requires skill, team work and communication. Anyone who uses an electric wheelchair for everyday mobility can play Powerchair Football, this means all genders of any age. Players from Victoria and around the world have a range of disorders which include forms of Muscular Dystrophy and Cerebral Palsy.

The sport is strictly non-contact and has a speed limit of 10km/ph and features at two National competitions as well as internationally.

Wheelchair Tennis

You don’t have to be an elite player to reap the benefits of playing wheelchair tennis. Wheelchair tennis is an amazing sport enabling people in a wheelchair to play on the same tennis court with able bodied friends and family.

It’s one of the few sport where the world’s best athletes, both in a wheelchair and able bodied, compete at the same event. Wheelchair tennis is included in all Grand Slam tennis tournaments around the world.

Tennis Australia has a National wheelchair program to identify, developing and getting players on a professional pathway as well as working toward a Paralympics every 4 years.  Just like tennis, you can compete in singles or doubles, mens and womens events. The only change of rules is the ball may bounce twice before being struck.

For the demonstration we will have junior players from Tennis Australia’s Melbourne program.

Wheelchair AFL

Wheelchair AFL is an adapted version of our great game providing people with a physical disability the opportunity to play. AFL Victoria has partnered with Disability Sport & Recreation to expand the sport within Victoria. In 2018 the first ever Robert Rose Foundation Victorian Wheelchair Football League was held with teams from Collingwood Football Club, Essendon Football Club, St Kilda Football Club, Richmond Football Club and Hawthorn Football Club.

The league is returning in 2019 and starting in May.

Wheelchair Basketball

Wheelchair basketball it is one of the most popular sports for athletes with a disability. It is now played in over 80 countries with over 100,000 players at all levels over the globe. As current Paralympic and World Champions, Australia is at the fore front of wheelchair basketball’s development.

The National Wheelchair Basketball League (NWBL) is Australia’s national championship league with six teams from five states competing for the title. All NWBL games are played on standard sized basketball courts with standard height baskets. The general rules are structured to reflect the able-bodied format of the fame but with amendments to allow for the use of wheelchairs. 

To be eligible to play wheelchair basketball, a person must in their lower limbs have an objective and measurable permanent physical disability, which prevents them from running, jumping and pivoting as an able-bodied player.

Inclusive Sports Schedule - 2019 Arnold Sports Festival


Showcourt Program


Friday 15 March                                   


Wheelchair Softball

10.00am – 10.30am

Wheelchair Softball

10.30am – 11.00am

Wheelchair Softball

11.00am – 11.30am

Fully loaded Softball

11.30am – 12.00pm

Fully loaded Softball

12.00pm – 12.30pm

Fully loaded Softball

12.30pm – 1.00pm


1.00pm – 1.30pm


1.30pm – 2.00pm


2.00pm – 2.30pm

VEWSA Soccer

2.30pm – 3.30pm

Come & Try Session

3.30pm – 6.00pm


Saturday 16 March


Wheelchair Tennis

10.00am – 12.00pm

VEWSA Soccer

12.00pm – 2.00pm


Sunday 17 March


Wheelchair AFL

2.00pm – 3.00pm

Wheelchair sports come/try activities

3.00pm – 4.00pm

Parallel Sports – Basketball

4.00pm – 6.00pm


Tags: News