Historic corporate partnership and Vice Regal Patronage mark 500 day countdown to the 2018 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championship

Disability Sports Australia (DSA) today marked the 500 day countdown to the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) GIO 2018 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championship to be held in Sydney, August 2018 with the announcement of a historic corporate partnership and appointment of the Championship Patron at Government House, Sydney.

“The GIO 2018 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championship will be the largest disability sporting event to be held in Australia since the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games and DSA, the national body representing athletes with a physical disability, is proud to announce the official Championship naming rights sponsor GIO, and Patron His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d) Governor of New South Wales,” says Ms Jenni Cole, CEO, DSA.

In announcing the partnership Ms Cole said, “This partnership is of international significance. It is the first time in the history of the Championship that a naming rights sponsor has been secured. We commend GIO for their foresight and commitment to changing lives through sport”.

“GIO has a long and proud history with disability sport in Australia. Sport is an important part in the wellbeing of all of our lives, and for people with a disability it is no different. We are very proud of our ongoing partnership with DSA, and fully support their vision to enrich the lives of people with a disability through participation in sport. As naming rights sponsor of the GIO 2018 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championship we are committed to showcasing the worlds most elite Wheelchair Rugby competition to the Australian public,” says Matthew Kayrooz, Head of Accident & Trauma, Personal Injury Portfolio and Products, Insurance Australia. 

Next year will be 18 years since Wheelchair Rugby debuted, as a full medal sport at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.

Ms Cole said partnerships with the Australian Rugby Union and the long time support of the Department of Defence had assisted in DSA’s successful bid to bring the GIO 2018 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championship to Sydney and the announcement today of Governor Hurley’s patronage further exemplified the significance of the event. 

His Excellency commented: ‘I am honoured to be appointed Patron of the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation’s Wheelchair Rugby World Championship. Seeing the joy that this very physical sport offers to our veterans whose injuries through service to their nation resulted in them requiring the use of a wheelchair is inspiring. As Patron, I am looking forward to fast and furious games of strength, skill and speed, as the 11 international teams battle it out against our champion Australian Steelers. I welcome the world to play in our city of Sydney, whose Paralympics brought wheelchair rugby to the world.’

In attendance was His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d) Governor of New South Wales and Mrs Hurley, Matthew Kayrooz, (Head of Accident & Trauma, Personal Injury Portfolio and Products, Insurance Australia) representing GIO, Ryley Batt, Australian Steelers team member and GIO staff member, and Jenni Cole, CEO, Disability Sports Australia.

Further information/media interviews: Sophie Olorenshaw +61 2 93687277 0435947920
sophieo@avviso.com.au