July 28, 2023
Published on Thursday 6 May, 2021
Brodie Healy says wheelchair rugby has given him something to wake up to each morning and aspire to be great at.
“It’s not just a social outlet for me, it’s somewhere that I can be the best version of myself and a place where my function level doesn’t restrict what I’m able to do,” said Brodie.
Adelaide based wheelchair athlete, Brodie, developed a passion for sports early on in life.
Brodie started playing wheelchair rugby very briefly when he was just 15 years old, but it wasn’t until 2019 that he decided to revisit the sport at a professional level.
“I was away from the sport for a number of years but during that time I played wheelchair football and also wheelchair basketball for a couple of years.”
“At a basketball training session, I was approached by the CEO of Disability Sports Australia at the time, Jenni Cole.”
“She pulled me aside and said, “you’ve got to get back into a rugby chair” and I agreed with her.”
Whilst visiting Sydney in 2019, Brodie met with Disability Sports Australia and it just so happened that wheelchair rugby was on at the same time.
“It all just stemmed from there really,” said Brodie.
Brodie will be competing in this years’ Wheelchair Rugby National Championships hosted on the Gold Coast from 28–30 May. Lifestyle Solutions is a major sponsor of the nationwide event.
Brodie finds the best part of competing is getting the opportunity to meet a lot of other people in similar situations.
“It’s one of the only team sports that has full contact for people in the same position as you. People who have impairment in at least three limbs,” said Brodie.
Wheelchair rugby is an intense, contact team sport played in eight-minute quarters. To be eligible to compete, athletes must have an impairment in at least three limbs.
“I really enjoy the social aspect and how everyone has their role on the court to work together. It is really a team sport; you need all of your players to get a win and vice versa,” said Brodie.
Brodie currently trains twice a week for the upcoming Championships at Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre in Adelaide.
He says his strategy is to play to his strengths and work with his teammates to hide his weaknesses on the court.
“My game plan on the court is to just play as best as I can and make the most of my teammates around me. That’s not just on the court but off the court too - I’ve found that just having chats with my teammates really helps me feel supported, whether it’s about an issue or just life in general.”
Brodie says this year he’s not so focussed on pushing for titles but more on his development.
“South Australia has struggled a bit in the sport, so we’re just really keen to work on our development and try and get back to a state that’s considered a strong contender in years to come.”
Brodie came across to Wheelchair Rugby as a national Wheelchair AFL Champion. He’s still involved in wheelchair football but is moving away from a playing perspective and into more management roles.
Brodie says his life is built around rugby.
“Whether its training, analysing the game or going to physio and getting more work done so I can train more - at the moment, the rest of my life is planned around my rugby commitments.”
Brodie is playing in Division 2 of the competition for South Australia. Catch Brodie in action live at the event from Friday, 28 - Sunday, 30 May 2021 at the Gold Coast Sport and Leisure Centre or you can livestream the event at wheelchairrugby.com.au