TESS IKONOMOU, Townsville Bulletin
June 26, 2019 12:00am
A TOWNSVILLE veteran has been selected to represent Queensland in the wheelchair NRL Sate of Origin competition.
Ex-soldier Davin Bretherton affectionately known as “Bear” was named co-captain of the Maroons, with the NRL allowing the game to carry their branding for the first time.
“I’m very honoured, we are very passionate with our sport and it’s always an hour to wear the local colours, which brings you up another level,” he said.
“I think it’s just amazing and can’t wait to stick it to the cockroaches.”
The QLD team was chosen at the weekend in Brisbane at a training camp, with competition mixed for men and women.
Mr Bretherton said adaptive sports were positive for his mental and physical health.
“For me it’s been a way to manage my mental health … and it amazing having come from Invictus the year before,” he said.
Mr Bretherton said he hoped increased awareness about adaptive sports would encourage more people to get involved.
“I hope it’s a pathway for people to be getting out there and taking these opportunities,” he said.
“I do run an adaptive spots program at Mates4Mates, also on a Friday I run a transitional course for the regular army boys as well, to put them in a team environment.
“What it’s about is getting everyone on an equal playing field and getting them involved to get the camaraderie back.
Mr Bretheron said he hoped to open it up the community regardless of their ability in a bid to help remove stigma disabilities.
“It’s getting people to look at a wheelchair as a piece of sporting equipment,” he said.
“You don’t need to be disabled to play this sport and gives the ability for mums and dads to play alongside their disabled children or mates.
“It will be bringing everybody together to play on the same field.”
Mr Bretherton will be returning to Sydney Olympic Park after coming back to Townsville in November with medals around his neck.
“It will be great to get back there,” he said.
The competition will be held on July 6.