Luke David: Westfield Local Heroes 2019
Changing lives through electric wheelchair sport
Powerchair Sports Victoria
Proactive. Responsive. Resilient
Luke David has a disabling condition called Nemaline Myopathy and relies on an electric wheelchair.
Despite his challenges, he is committed to helping others and spends most of his time volunteering for organisations that support people with disabilities.
His main passion is sport, specifically electric wheelchair sport, which he took up when he was thirteen.
He’s experienced the personal benefit and represented Australia at an international level.
“Growing up with a physical disability, I never thought I’d be able to play sport,” says Luke, who is President of the Powerchair Sports Victoria.
He says he is proud to be voted a Westfield Local Hero. “This will do a lot for us. Our players are very dedicated to their sport, and they spend a lot of time and money coming to events and don’t really get the recognition or awareness they deserve.”
He is forever coming up with new ways for people with disabilities to access and enjoy sport and believes participation helps build character through teamwork, communication, leadership, perseverance and good sportsmanship.
Luke is grateful for his electric wheelchair. “I wouldn’t be where I am without it. I don’t think I would be working, have a partner or go travelling for the sports I play.”
He plays as much sport as he can, including powerchair hockey, football and rugby league. In 2018 he was the captain of a powerchair hockey team that competed at the World Championships in Italy.
Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation.
The grant means the Powerchair Sports Victoria will be able to purchase equipment and hire new venues across the state to make electric wheelchair sports accessible to more players.
“At the moment we have players all around the state, but we only play in the Eastern suburbs. We are the only organisation in Victoria specifically for electric wheelchair users, and transport can be challenging. This will make us more inclusive,” says Luke.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.