Athletes with Disabilities

Beginners guide to paralympics click here

For information on AWD classification click here

To view International Table Tennis Federation Video clip click here

For further information and information on rosters and participation opportunities contact your local club in your area. Your enquires would be welcome.

The Northern Suburbs Table Tennis League offer specialist coaching sessions for AWD players at the Royal Hobart Showgrounds on Tuesday nights between 5.30 and 7.00pm. These sessions are conducted by the National Paralympic Coach, Roger Massie, for enquires phone on Mobile: 0488 488 634 or email Roger Massie

......................................................................................................

PARALYMPIC GAMES

The Paralympic movement was born in the late 1940s, following World War II.

Before World War II, most people with a spinal cord injury died within months or a few years, from infections and other complications. However after the war, the development of antibiotics and improvements in treatment and rehabilitation made spinal cord injuries survivable.

Ludwig Guttmann was a German neurologist who fled Nazi Germany in 1939 and moved to England. In 1944 he founded and became the first Director of the National Spinal Injuries Unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Convinced there was a better way to rehabilitate injured servicemen and women, Guttmann introduced sport as a method of mental and physical rehabilitation. It was an inspired decision.

On Thursday 29 July 1948, the same day as the Opening Ceremony of the 1948 London Olympic Games, the first Stoke Mandeville Games were held with two teams (one from Stoke Mandeville Hospital and the other from a neighbouring war veterans hospital in Richmond) competed in archery.

By 1951, 11 different British spinal injury organisations and institutions took part at the Stoke Mandeville Games, and by 1952 the Games had gone international, with spinal injury patients travelling from the Netherlands to take part.

Guttmann had a vision of an international games equivalent to the Olympic Games. This was realised when what is now considered the first ever Paralympic Games was held in Rome, in 1960, with 21 nations competing across nine sports - archery, athletics, archery, pentathlon, snooker, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair fencing.

Australia won three gold, six silver and one bronze at the 1960 Paralympics, with archer Ross Sutton winning Australia's first ever Paralympic gold medal. Australia’s sole female competitor, Daphne Hilton, won six of Australia’s ten medals, across three sports including table tennis. The growth of the Paralympic games has been quite extrordinary since the first games in 1960. This is exemplified by the fact that at the 1960 games there were 400 athletes from 23 countries competing in 57 events across 9 sports while the London 2012 Paralympics saw 4,300 athletes from 164 countries competing in 503 events across 20 sports. Australia has a proud history at the Paralympic games and similar to the Olympics has been represented at every games. We usually tend to “punch above our weight” compared to some of the more populated countries and actually topped the medal count at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics.

Australia has won 2 Gold, 2 Silver and 3 Bronze medals in Table Tennis at the Paralympics over the years with the most recent being Terry Biggs winning gold in 1984. Our most successful athlete is Marion O’Brien from Western Australia who won 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze over two games in 1964 and 1968. Tasmania’s only table tennis representative at the Paralympics is the late Donald “Doc” Dann OAM who competed at the 1980 Games. Don went on to win a silver medal in Javelin at the 1984 Games.

Tasmanians at the Nationals and Australian Representatives

Tasmanians have historically competed well at National Games with several local players winning medals. Among those to win medals at National Senior Wheelchair Games and later National AWD Championships are the late Doug Free, Jim Busby, Max Holloway, Phil Hodge, Daniel Page and former Tasmanian Andrew Browning has won medals in recent years and is a current member of the National Paralympic Squad. Players to win medals at National Junior Games include Daniel Page, Sam Jackson, David Carpenter, the late Andrew Conlan, Josh Christian and Dimity Broadby. Daniel Page won the junior player of the year award in 1999 and Dimity Broadby repeated the feat in 2007.

Besides Donald Dann other Tasmanians to represent Australia at Table Tennis are

Doug Free 1988 FESPIC Games Japan

Daniel Page 1999 FESPIC Games Thailand, 1999 Southern Cross Games Sydney and 2001 Asia Oceania Games Japan

Andrew Browning 2011 Czech Open Czechoslovakia, 2011 British Open England and 2011 Asia Oceania Games Hong Kong.