Posts Tagged ‘Western Australia’


Wheelchair Tennis Doubles Tournament

The fab group at Wheelchair Sports WA recently ran a series of wheelchair tennis training sessions at the Herb Graham Centre in Mirrabooka.

These training sessions resulted in a doubles tournament being played at the State Tennis Centre in

Burswood on Thursday 23rd of August.  Organised and run by the team at Tennis West, four very competitive doubles pairs took to the courts to prove who had the moves on the court.

Despite the fact that they *say* they had been practicing up until the tournament there were a lot of laughs as kamikaze balls flew around and team communications broke down…..note to Adam and Georgia: don’t play on a team with your “real” partner!!

In the end the partnership of Kim Robins and Sam Clarke ruled the night, taking out what is to become the Annual Trophy in the finals match against Adam Deans and Georgia Inglis.  Special mention from me goes to Jake Kavanaugh who I could swear believed I had a target on the top of my camera ;-)

If you are interested in having a go at wheelchair tennis the next session begins in November and is open to all – yes including able-bodied.  Contact Lindal at Wheelchair Sports WA; lindal@wheelchairsportswa.org.au


Introducing the 2012 Black Ducks!

 

I am in the very fortunate position to be the Official Photographer for Wheelchair Sports Western Australia (WSWA).  I get to photograph amazing and talented athletes who have physical disabilities but who do not allow those physical disabilities to set them back.  Its very inspirational and fun!!

On Wednesday 11th of April, I attended and photographed the presentation of playing jerseys to the current Black Ducks, WSWA’s Under 21 wheelchair basketball team.  It is an extremely proud moment as an athlete to gain a place on a State team and the room was filled with huge smiles and a lot of pride.  Amber Merritt, who will be missing out on playing with the Ducks this year due to Paralympic commitments reminded the team of the opportunity that they have had presented to them, to wear their jerseys with pride and to play hard.  Words that very clearly resonated throughout the room.

The Black Ducks will defend their title at next weeks Kevin Coombs Cup being held at Challenge Stadium and we wish them every luck in this endeavour.

So without further delay….meet your WA Black Ducks (missing from below are Assistant Coach Nick Radovich and Captain Jake Kavanagh);

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Australian Irish Dancing Association Championships


The past couple of months have been littered with firsts…..first time photographing Ice Hockey, first time in Korea…..Now it is the first time I have been involved with Irish Dance!  I am honoured to be the official photographer for the Australian Irish Dancing (AIDA) Championships this weekend and tonight was my first night experiencing it.

When you think of Irish Dance you think Michael Flatley – well I know I do!  Whilst the dancing itself has been around for many a year, I guess Michael Flatley’s tour was really the bit introduction of Irish Dance to the general population.

It was quite different photographing it compared to other dance.  All of the expression of the dance moves to the feet so being conscious of what the feet are doing at all times is pretty crucial – especially since the “peak” of the movements rely on the feet being pointed or on the peak of the kick.  I also learnt that dancers need to learn to dance both soft shoe and hard shoe.  Hard shoe is reminiscent of “en pointe” in ballet although the shoes seem to be more flexible in the centre.  Soft shoe is more like a ballet flat and the moves focus more on flexibility when it comes to jumps and less about being on the toes.  To add to this, the first two rounds of competition involve two, sometimes more dancers on the stage performing to the same music but completely independently of each other – so being graded independently.

What I love though is the costumes!!  There is bling and diamantes galore!!  Not to mention the stunning curly hair that is part of traditional costume.

I am looking forward to the remainder of the weekend and I thank AIDA for giving me the opportunity following the retirement of their former photographer.  I hope I can do your dancers just as much justice as he did.

 


WA Super League Ice Hockey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not having grown up in a really wintery country I haven’t really had the chance to experience a fast-paced ice hockey game in person.  Sure I’ve seen it on TV and the net,  but its just not the same as experiencing it first hand – would kinda be

like eating a meat pie in your lounge room watching AFL instead of being at the MCG.  This is certainly something that needed to change before I take on my photographic role at the upcoming Tange Cup.  So, on Sunday night dressed in thin socks, a pair of jeans and an ordinary jumper I headed over to Cockburn Ice Arena to experience my first live ice hockey game.

First mistake made!  It was freezing!!!  Having grown up in Victoria, I am used to a certain level of coldness but not quite like this.  I guess I neglected to remember that generally ice hockey = ice, which is normally synonymous with cold.  Mental note made that I would need more than just one pair of socks and a flimsy jumper to get me through the tournament.

As far as photography goes, the arena has a strange combination of lights.  There is very clearly both warm and cool lighting throughout.  This made things difficult white balance wise.  After fiddling around with the settings I found it was definitely better to customise my kelvin setting.  The other challenge was shooting through the netting.  Ice hockey rinks in the USA for example – yep I did see one, just no play – normally have either perspex or toughened glass surrounding the arena.

This is obviously to stop the puck escaping and causing imminent damage to whoever may be in it’s way.  Glass and perspex do present their own set of challenges.  Netting on the other hand, can affect the aperture at which you want to operate.  Another note made to remind me of this!  Other than those minor issues, I was surprised to find that photographing the game was similar to photographing LaCrosse.  It was fast, it had contact and you needed to account for the long extension, ie the hockey stick in this case, at the end of the athletes arm when composing the shot.  Right up my alley!!!

Needless to say I had an absolute ball and I am really looking forward to being part of the Tange Cup.  In the meantime, some of my handy work from the weekend…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Wheelcats Triumphant in First Game Back

 

The first games of the National Wheelchair Basketball League season rolled off (sorry – couldn’t help myself!) over the weekend.  Reigning Champs and local team the Perth Wheelcats saw their season start with a home game AND a replay of last season’s Grand Final against the Woollongong Kidzwish Roller Hawks.

 

With celebrity support from their newly announced number one ticket holder Ernie Dingo, the Wheelcats took to the court with a fierceness and positivity that was truly inspirational.


Half time entertainment was provided by members of the current reigning Champions for 2011 Australian Baseball League, Perth Heat.  In friendly competition (of course!) players Mitch Graham and Lachlan Dale did their best at driving the chairs around the court with mascots Heat Flash and Hot Dog cheering them on.  Mitch took the lead though scoring the winning goal a good time span before team mate Lachlan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the end, the Wheelcats followed up their grand final win, winning 100-81.  Leading goal scorer for the Wheelcats was Justin Eveson with 35 points.

 

Shaun Norris looked after him dishing out 16 assists while the highest goal scorer for the Roller Hawks was Tristain Knowles with 44 points.

The Wheelcats are off to Dandenong next for a two game series.  Next home game is a two game series the weekend of the 9th of July.

A gold coin donation will get you in the door at the  Herb Graham Recreation Centre to show the team support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Wheelchair Sports – “Have a Go” Tennis Night

One of the most rewarding parts of what I do in my work is what I can give back to the community.  Late last year I formed a pro-bono partnership with Not-For-Profit organisation Wheelchair Sports WA.  Wheelchair Sports WA (WSWA) deals with the management of all wheelchair sport in WA and boasts a number of very successful state, national and international athletes.  They also make a point of educating and involving the public in what they are about.

Enter “Have a Go” nights!  These nights are not just about getting those that have a physical disability out there and active, the nights also provide an opportunity for able-bodied people to give the sports a go, with WSWA supplying the wheelchairs to do this.  This year WSWA started with tennis which saw around 10 people, both with physical disabilities and able-bodied having a go – my hubby included!

The night started with some coaching and practice on positioning and form and as everyone started to get the hang of it the games started.  I did note a healthy competitive streak displayed between Georgia and WSWA Sports Development Officer Joel Mackenzie, with Joel eventually trading his wheels back to his legs in order to get Georgia’s fine form back under control.  Sorry Joel but it had to be said!!  This kind of banter just re-enforced the amazing job that Joel and the team do with the sports and the respect that the athletes have for them.    Overall the night was a success night with everyone *mostly* hitting the ball in some way, shape or form.

The tennis program will continue to run through the month of March and if you have an interest in knowing any more about tennis or any of the other sports offered, contact Joel on 9440 4245 or via email, joel@wheelchairsports.org.au


Wheelchair Sports WA Partnership

I am very proud to announce a new partnership with Wheelchair Sports WA as their Official Photographer.

Wheelchair Sports WA are responsible for all functions pertaining to wheelchair sport in WA.  The Association currently has over 500 members.  This member base is inclusive of family and supporters of those who have been affected by a physical disability or any condition that impairs mobility or coordination.

My first meet with Membership and Participation Officer and three-time Paralympic competitor Justin Eveson, was a fantastic experience and his enthusiasm for wheelchair sports (especially basketball!) was evident from the outset.  He has every right to be – WA boasts some of the best wheelchair athletes not just in Australia but in the world!

In the capacity of official photographer I will be involved in the photographic documentation of Wheelchair Sports WA’s major sporting events, presentation evenings and other functions throughout the year.  As my first assignment, I had the great pleasure of photographing their 15th Annual Sports Star of the Year Award, a night that I was very honoured to attend.  It was an inspirational evening for me and I truly look forward to my involvement with the crew.

Check out the press release from the Awards night here

2010 Sports Star of the Year: Shaun Norris

2010 Junior Sports Star of the Year:  Madison De Rozario


Denmark Adventure Race

I love it…..adventure racing that is.  If I wasn’t photographing these events I’d be out there with them and the Denmark Adventure Race is no exception.  Another impeccably organised race by the team from Rapid Ascent with a fantastic mix of mountainbiking, sea and river paddling, navigation and orienteering.  This years Denmark Adventure Race opened on Saturday 9th of October to 30 teams of 4 competitors each, all prepared to battle their way through around 200klms of terrain over a 2-day period.  And battle they did.  After rumours of the race being not challenging enough last year, the King of Adventure Racing himself, John Jacoby, made sure that his course layout was challenging even to the best of the field.  If I was a betting chick I would lay my money on the fact that there will be no such complaints this year!!!

With Day One racing kicking off at 8am, the WA weather blessed competitors with a beautiful sunny start.  Sunny enough it seems that the front runners were blinded enough to miss the first checkpoint of the race, setting the field almost two hours behind the anticipated schedule from the word go.  We were in for a loooooong day!  This was not a deterrent at all with competitors pushing through the stages and beating the challenges John had thrown at them.  There were were lots of laughs throughout the day and just as many groans as “paddling” stages turned into “climbing-over-logs-and-hauling-the-kayaks-over-behind-us”stages.  Navigation stages had competitors wondering why their little round thing with the red and white arrows was missing GPS co-ordinates.  One team even managed to navigate themselves in a circle 2-ish hours away from the finish line and back to a previous checkpoint.  As night-time fell, support teams, families and organisers alike eagerly awaited the teams completion of the first day.  Finally at around 8.30pm the first light spilled from the Ay-up head lights in the distance, the final team of the evening crossing the finish line at around 1245am Sunday morning.

With a 6am start on the Sunday morning there was a distinct zombie feeling at the Day Two start line.  The weather had turned and left one wondering if we had actually been transported to Melbourne overnight.  The day started with competitors “scavenging” for checkpoints around Denmark town.  Some early sheep chasing (no this is not a dig at the NZ’er’s who were racing), had racers soon discovering that getting on the wrong side of some of the Denmark farmers was not such a good idea even if it meant a short-cut to the nearest checkpoint.  Even the great John Jacoby looked small compared to a 6’5″ farmer on a rampage!!  The race continued through to Green’s Pool and along the coastline.  With the weather now well and truly disgusting I was left drenched to the bone for the remainder of the day.  The decision to protect my cameras over me has come back to haunt me with a good dose of the flu hitting mid-week.  I am sure though that many of the competitors have found themselves in the same situation.  At least my car had heating driving from location to location.  The inlet however had no such consideration for the competitors, leaving them battling against rough swell to carry through to the final leg of the race.  Despite the weather, racers were coming past me on the final leg with huge waves and smiles for the camera – probably more out of relief to be so close to the end.  This positive attitude is something that I have come to expect and respect about Adventure Racers.

Overall, I think it would be fair to say that everyone involved had an amazing, fun weekend.  Check out some of the photos from the event below or head to http://www.rapidascent.com.au/greatsouthern/ to view them all.