History

Australia got its first taste of "Murderball" in 1981 at the Stoke Mandeville Games (now known as the IWAS World Games) in England. The Australian team competing in the games were invited by the Canadians to select a team to play against them in a demonstration game. After receiving limited instructions on the rules and skills of the game the "contest" began. Following a fast and very competitive exchange, Australia won. The game was then born and brought back to Australia where it has flourished.

It wasn’t until 1990 that the first Australian national championship was held as part of the National Wheelchair Games in Canberra

The first IWRF World Wheelchair Rugby Championships were held in Nottwil, Switzerland, in 1995 where the Australian national team, the Steelers, competed internationally for the first time but failed to win a medal. In the following year, wheelchair rugby was demonstrated at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games. The Australian national team competed but lost every game after their best player injured his knee injury prior to the start of the competition.

Wheelchair rugby was recognised as a full medal sport for the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney. The Australian team won Silver that year, but they have played at every Paralympics since with increasing success. 

Australia has competed in every Paralympics, World Wheelchair Rugby Championships, and IWRF Asia-Oceania Championships since each competition was established. 

Australia’s best result came at the 2014 World Championships in Odense, Denmark, winning the gold medal and the World Championship.

The Steelers are the current World and Paralympic championships, defeating the United States of America in the gold medal match at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. 

Wheelchair rugby EXECUTIVE Committee

Name Role
George Hucks Chair
Darryl Wingard League Commissioner
Quentin Fleischfresser Referee Coordinator
Tracee-Lee Magginity Chief Classifier
Jenni Cole Ex Officio
Mark Leslie DSA Wheelchair Rugby Coordinator
To be nominated Athlete Representative