The West Coast Eagles are the fifth team in the competition joining inaugural WAFL clubs East Perth, Swan Districts and Subiaco alongside the previous expansion team and 2022 WAWFL premiers, Perth.
The expansion into the wheelchair football competition is a crucial step in strengthening the Club’s existing commitment to Diversity and Inclusion as foundation partners of the WA All Abilities Football Association.
The competition is open to players of any age or ability with participants both with and without disabilities making up the five teams.
The inaugural West Coast Eagles team was officially locked in last Sunday at the WAWFL come and try day, which allowed new players to give wheelchair football a go before attendees were given their teams for the 2023 season.
West Coast Eagles Community and Game Development General Manager Richard O’Connell highlighted the Club’s excitement to be joining the WAWFL competition.
“West Coast Eagles believes in the motto; football is for all. This is why we humbly support such great organisations as Perth Football League Integrated competition, WA Disabled Sports Australia, WA All Abilities Football Association and were one of the first partners to get involved in the WAFC Starkick program,” O’Connell said.
“We commend Swan Districts, Perth, Subiaco and East Perth who have been trailblazers in establishing wheelchair football teams. We are proud to follow their lead and add to a growing competition passionately overseen by the WA All Abilities Foundation."
The West Coast Eagles aim for the 2023 season is to further strengthen our connection club wide with our existing programs, offering participants from the WA Disabled Sports Association the opportunity to have priority into the team.
"Our WAFL captain and new wheelchair team coach Jackson Nelson spends time with WADSA supporting their activity schedule. He’s looking forward to our first ever wheelchair team roll out onto the court for our inaugural season," O'Connell said.
“We encourage anyone that has ever thought about getting involved in something different, to give it a go and meet some new people while staying active.
“We are proud to sit alongside the existing WAFL teams who already have a wheelchair football team and promote to our supporters another way they or family members can participate in football.”
WA All Abilities Football Association Executive Officer Hayden Marchetto said he is thrilled to have the West Coast Eagles join the competition in season 2023 and looks forward to the WAWFL’s continued expansion in the future.
“The inclusion of the West Coast Eagles in the WAWFL is game-changing. Their rich history brings increased visibility, credibility, and excitement to our league. It's more than just another team; West Coast is one of the leading clubs in Australian sport so it's a significant boost to the WAWFL’s growth and the broader recognition of inclusion footy in Australia,” Marchetto said.
“In the first two seasons, the WAWFL has achieved continued growth, with club and player participation, fan engagement, and media interest. The addition of a new team, especially one as prominent as the West Coast Eagles, further amplifies the league's reach.
“We believe this season will enrich our league's history, with exciting games and showcasing the incredible talent of our players.”
The WA Wheelchair Football League takes place at HBF Stadium and officially begins on October 8, with eight rounds running on consecutive Sundays before the finals series on December 3. The West Coast Eagles look forward to their inaugural season in the competition and will look to make an impact both on-and-off the court.