Kirk Williams is an adventure photographer. Being a C6-7 quadriplegic, with paralysis from the chest down, he has refused to let his disability define him. He tried out a number of wheelchair adaptive sports and found wheelchair rugby was the most impactful for him.
Although it is not considered a well-known sport on our shores just yet, power hockey is one of the adapted sports with the greatest appeal. One of its great advantages is that it is a team sport, which can be practiced by people with different degrees of disability, making it into an integrating and social activity, especially for those with severe disabilities.
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that occurs when the immune system attacks the myelin sheath, a protective layer that covers nerve fibres, causing damage to nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Deterioration of the nerve cells limits communication between certain parts of the nervous system and consequently leads to the development of physical and cognitive problems.
Sitting volleyball was first introduced as a demonstration in the 1976 Toronto Paralympics Games having originated in The Netherlands in 1956. Four years later, The Netherlands introduced it as a competitive sport and it has since gained popularity in over 60 countries worldwide including Australia.
As a version of the original 'standing’ volleyball, sitting volleyball is an energetic sport for people with or without physical disabilities. It is classified into two degrees of disabilities, disabled and minimum disability. The court is much smaller than the standing volleyball court measuring 6m x 10m with lowered nets – 1.15m for men and 1.05m for women.
In terms of disability sports, the Paralympic Games have to be regarded as the pinnacle of competition, with the achievement of being awarded a Paralympic medal the ultimate recognition and honour for a Paralympic athlete. But who are the most successful Paralympic athletes and countries?