You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

An all abilities rugby league program in Wondai is changing Amelia Sippel's life in so many ways on and off the field.

And Wonder Wolves is having the exact impact founder and Wondai Proston Wolves player Brittany Holding hoped it would after setting it up in 2022.

While just a one-off last year, there will be four one-hour sessions in 2023 aligned with senior home games involving participants ranging from the ages of 4 to 33.

Seven-year-old Amelia, who has quadriplegia, cerebral palsy and a range of other medical conditions, is one of the participants who have inspired the growth of the program, which so far involves 11 families.

"When there's a lot of material around her and stimulation, she gets a bit overwhelmed. But the first time, she was still engaged really well," Holding said.

"And now the second time, even though she's non-verbal, we can clearly communicate with her.

"She was just so excited as soon as she got there and she remembered how to do each one of the tasks.

"Oh, it was just so good. And her parents just absolutely love it."

Amelia (left) and Brittany Holding
Amelia (left) and Brittany Holding

Activities include fun skills drills with tackling bags, passing rings, agility poles and kicking tees, culminating in a friendly game at the end of it.

It all came from Holding's realisation there were few active programs for people of different abilities and as a disability support worker, she had the opportunity to drive it using rugby league as a vehicle for change.

Emma Sippel could not be more pleased to see how happy daughter Amelia is after participating, a feeling shared by parents who face similar challenges in finding appropriate activities in the rural area.

"She's surprised all of us with how she does, when she's in her little walking frame when we go to the footy days," she said.

"She just loves being around other people and other kids. She absolutely loves it. It's just brilliant and all the other kids get involved and engage with her.

"As soon as she sees all the kids and everyone there, she gets so excited, and she has a really good chat with them, in her own way. She's not verbal but does chat in her own sort of way and it's just her thing.

"It's grown heaps this year in comparison to last year and I think the next couple of sessions will even grow. The word's getting out and there's a lot of people talking about it."

Bears, rivals unite for Slater

One of Clermont Bears Junior Rugby League's favourites - Slater Breckon and his family - are doing it tough in hospital in Brisbane, and on June 3 a whole day of rugby league was dedicated to him.

Super Slater Super Saturday was a massive hit according to club president Andrew Sullivan and he was thrilled with the support shown from everyone attended and helped raise money.

The fundraising came from raffles, canteen, gate and proceeds of club merchandise sales on the day, with a number of local businesses getting behind the cause.

Slater was diagnosed with asplastic anaemia in May, a rare disorder in which the bone marrow fails to produce enough blood cells.

The Bears' efforts add to what has already been tremendous community support - a GoFundMe campaign started soon after his diagnosis garnered more than $50,000 in support inside three days.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Platinum Partners

View All Partners