About Us

 

WRLA originated from the founding of the New South Wales Wheelchair Rugby League Association which was established in 2009, with the long term focus to make it a national sport.  At that time Wheelchair Rugby League was only a demonstration sport.

 

Wheelchair Rugby League Australia is now the governing body for Wheelchair Rugby League in Australia.

 

WRLA introduced seasonal competition from 2010 which built awareness at all levels of the game including referees, players, coaches and administration of the sport and provide opportunities for athletes with disabilities within the league.

 

Our vision is to be recognised as an inclusive sport for all communities, provide pathways for participants to represent their respective states and to contribute to making it a global sport.

 

WRLA is actively engaged in the preparation for the Invictus Games 2018 and the London Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup in 2021.

 

 

What is Wheelchair Rugby League

 

Wheelchair Rugby League is not just for people with disabilities.

 

Wheelchair Rugby League is an inclusive sport, and is a variation of the running game that allows athletes with disabilities to compete with and against able-bodied people.

Like the other competing nations, we are encouraging able-bodied athletes to compete as well. This has proved quite successful overseas while also offering a level-playing-field for both types of athletes, which is something not many other sports have the ability to offer.

 

Wheelchair Rugby League aspires to provide an inclusive recreational activity, promote fun, fitness and self-development while fostering good sportsmanship in a safe and positive environment. The emphasis is on participation, health and well-being of individuals, personal performance, social interaction and self-esteem.

 

 

Wheelchair Rugby League aims to provide more opportunities for young people to play and be involved in wheelchair rugby league. The organisation looks forward to building on the already existing relationships that mainstream rugby league (NRL).

Board Members

Martin Meredith

Martin is the Affiliated States Manager for NRL and current Chair of Wheelchair Rugby League Australia. Martin is a former professional rugby player with a wealth of experience in sports management, and is a qualified HPC Coach NRL and Life Member of Sports NSW. Martin also holds a Diploma in Education.

Joseph Chidiac

Joseph is the founder of NSW Wheelchair Rugby League Association and the subsequent incorporation of Wheelchair Rugby League Australia. Joseph is a strong advocate for disability sports and has been involved in disability sports for over 33 years as an athlete, coach and administrator.

 

Joseph assembled the Australian team for the 2008 Wheelchair Rugby League Demonstration World Cup and oversaw the 2010 – 2018 seasons including Australia’s participation in the inaugural Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup in 2013 in London and the 2017 WRL World Cup in France.

 

Joseph has Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Pearl Forrester

Pearl is a finance executive with experience in the not-for-profit human services sector, with roles over the last 10 years in Aged Care and Disability organisations’.

Pearl worked primarily in ASX-listed service oriented companies for over 20 years prior to moving into not-for-profit, mission-focused organisations’ to combine life and career goals. Pearl was a former regional Board member of a large aged care provider and former member of the Advisory Committee for the Trustees of Catholic Aged Care Sydney.

Simon Bedard

Simon is the founder and CEO of Exit Advisory Group, Australia’s first full-service business brokerage and was a national sales manager for a renewables company. Simon is also a Director of a digital engagement company focusing on fan engagement for any given sporting code