Moving forward with sport

22 September 2022

Adaptive sports, which are recreational or competitive sports that accommodate people with disabilities, can play an important part in the physical and mental recovery process for veterans.

Adaptive sport can have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of those within the veteran community, whether they’re undergoing rehabilitation or maintaining their recovery progress, allowing them to utilise skills they may have picked up while serving, such as teamwork, leadership and communication. 

The benefits of sports 

The psychological benefits of sport and physical activity include a reduction in anxiety, increased positive mood and enhanced self-confidence. Sport can also be used to help manage and alleviate chronic pain that veterans often experience. Socially, sport offers a sense of belonging and mateship, while also increasing independence and quality of life.  

Mates4Mates offers adaptive sports, such as wheelchair rugby league, basketball and handball, as one way to provide an outlet for something fun and enjoyable for mental and physical health benefits, no matter a veteran’s physical injuries.  

Wheelchair rugby league is for everyone 

Wheelchair rugby league is a popular sport with Mates4Mates veterans and family members, with regular games run in North Queensland and a program run recently in the Northern Territory.  

“Wheelchair rugby league brings people from all walks of life together as it’s an activity that a community of like-minded people can enjoy, whether they’re injured or not,” explains Hannes, Liaison Officer. 

A fast-paced sport, wheelchair rugby league requires players to manoeuvre their wheelchair whilst also controlling the ball. For veterans, it can be a great way to return to a team environment while not aggravating any lower limb or lower back injuries. 

“Being exposed to a new sport in which knowledge of the game or physical ability cannot stop you from finding the joy in life is one of the reasons that veterans enjoy joining in on wheelchair rugby league,” shares Chris, Liaison Officer.  

Reach out for support 

If you have been thinking about taking part in an adaptive sport like wheelchair rugby league, or any other sport, why not give it a go.  

Mates4Mates exercise physiologists are available to discuss any questions or concerns you may have before you start. You can call 1300 4 MATES (62 837) to book an appointment with the team. 

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