No matter your ability, everyone can play and benefit from playing sport!

Drake Editorial

As Gavin progressed further with wheelchair rugby he found it to be a great way to connect with like minded people, which developed into great friendships.

People with a disability have achieved much in the world of sport, even though they are under-represented. These individuals inspire and motivate us all, showcasing that everything is possible when you put your mind to it.

There is no doubt that the benefits of sport are many. Sport can improve your health and wellbeing, give you an opportunity to meet new people, and even help you to lead a more active lifestyle. For some people however, it can be difficult to find opportunities to participate in sport, and there may be hesitance towards starting something new.

In this article, we'll explore the importance and benefits of playing sport and share an inspiring story of Gavin Rolston, a wheelchair rugby champion for New Zealand. 

We were recently inspired at the National Wheelchair Rugby Championships, watching the New Zealand Wheelblacks  team, particularly Gavin Rolston. Gavin was always active before his life-changing injury, which occurred while cliff diving in Australia. Initially, getting involved in sport again helped Gavin regain some strength in his muscles and joints, which helped him  work towards independence. 

As Gavin progressed further with wheelchair rugby he found it a great way to connect with like minded people, which developed into great friendships. Hearing stories from fellow individuals who had also faced similar adversity helped Gavin to navigate his new normal, and gain a positive outlook on his life and future. 

Now that Gavin is playing for his country, he travels often to compete in different tournaments. This in itself has pulled Gavin out of his comfort zone, forcing him to adapt and overcome various situations such as challenges with accessibility areas. Exposure to these challenges has grown Gavin’s confidence and improved his outlook on life, giving him a sense of achievement and belief that anything is possible. 

Playing sport has opened many doors for Gavin, and given him opportunities he never thought were possible such as being employed by Drake Medox. Gavin is now in a position to share his experiences and wants to inspire others so they can achieve their goals like he has through sport. 

For people with disabilities or additional needs, it is fantastic to see more sporting clubs becoming inclusive and providing “all abilities” competitions. Irrespective of your ability or disability – there are sporting opportunities for everyone.  You can find out more about a number of the great all abilities sports you can get involved in here: Disability Sports Australia


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