Since the first Paralympic Games in 1960, Australia has participated in every single one. The Paralympic movement in Australia owes its origins to Sir George Bedbrook, the founder of PBF Australia. His dedication to his athletes was legendary, facilitating the attendance of the Australian Team at the first Games in Rome, and playing a central role in the establishment of international Games for people with a disability.
On 20th June, Tony South (PBF Corporate Memberships Manager) was honoured to attend the official launch of the 2016 Paralympic Team at Sydney Olympic Park. The Australian Paralympic Committee invited the “pioneers” of the early games to acknowledge their valuable contribution. Having won gold, two silver and bronze medals in archery, Tony was there to represent the Games for both 1968 in Tel Aviv, Israel and 1972 in Heidelberg, Germany.
Key speaker, Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull, acknowledged how far the Paralympics have come and the dramatic difference between current levels of professional support, training and funding in comparison to the non-existent support the earlier teams received. Mr Turnbull congratulated the athletes on their extraordinary example of courage, determination and of the human spirit triumphing over adversity. Confirming that they inspire every one of us.
PBF Australia are proud of the many Paralympians and elite sports people we have working for us as speakers. We are one of the largest employers of wheelies in Australia and our speakers include medal winning Paralympians both past and present.
- Tony South – Archery – 1968 Tel Aviv & 1972 Heidelberg
- Paul O’Brien – Middle Heavy Weight – 1988 Seoul
- Peter Magee – Lawn Bowls – 1988 Seoul
- Nigel Barley – Hand Cycling – 2012 London
- Ryan Scott – Rugby Captain -2012 London; 2008 Beijing; 2004 Athens
- Brad Ness – Basketball Captain – 2012 London; 2008 Beijing; 2004 Athens; 2000 Sydney
Heading off to Rio this year are PBF Australia presenters Brad Ness and Ryan Scott.
Brad captained the Australian Rollers to their gold medal in Beijing and silver medal in London. Introduced to wheelchair basketball through Paralympic legend Bill Nathan Brown, Brad has played all over the world. Setting up two mini basketball teams for kids with disabilities in Cantu and Roma, Brad also works with the Outback Academy and Red Dust Heelers to promote social inclusion and give opportunities to Indigenous Australians with and without disabilities. Brad is one of PBF’s newest presenters in WA.
Ryan is captain of the Australian Steelers and is gearing up for his fourth Paralympics. Wheelchair Rugby (Murder-ball) is a fantastic sport as it has allowed him to continue his love of team sports as well as travel the world. Ryan’s rehab coordinator and gym instructor was a Paralympic gold medalist in wheelchair basketball and introduced Ryan to rugby 17 years ago. A full time rugby player, when Ryan is not training he presents road safety talks in Qld.
Sir George Bedbrook opened the doors to generations of exceptional athletes and positively affected the wider Australian community. The legacy he has created is continued with both his son David and grandson Simon being active members of PBF Australia’s board. We would like to take this opportunity to wish Brad, Ryan and the entire Australian team all the best in Rio. Like Sir George Bedbrook we have the utmost confidence that they are the best of the best.