Craig Jarvis: Wheelchair Sports NSW: Westfield Local Heroes 2019
Life-changing devotion to wheelchair sports
Dedicated. Committed. Generous
Craig Jarvis has touched the lives of many people who have tried wheelchair sports in the eastern suburbs of Sydney.
By day, he helps Prince of Wales Hospital patients with spinal cord injuries learn how to use a wheelchair.
After work, he often introduces newly disabled people to wheelchair sports and has been a volunteer for Wheelchair Sports NSW for thirty-nine years.
Every Wednesday night, he runs a wheelchair basketball scrimmage at Daceyville PCYC.
“I aim to give people with physical disabilities opportunities to engage in various wheelchair sports for all the things that sport can provide,” says Craig.
One of his players nominated him as a Westfield Local Hero. Craig says that it was pleasing to know that the community had thrown their support behind him.“Wheelchair Sports NSW is a fantastic organisation that I’ve been involved with for 40 years.”
Craig says that wheelchair sports have a variety of benefits, including fitness, camaraderie, peer support, competition, new friendships, confidence, resilience and belonging to a community.
Craig first volunteered at an event in 1980 and was enormously impressed with the concept of sport for people with disabilities. He has been involved ever since, being appointed to the board of Wheelchair Sports NSW in 1990 and named a Life Member in 1999 in recognition of his tireless voluntary work. He has also been involved in five Paralympic Games.
Craig is synonymous with wheelchair sport in the eastern suburbs, particularly basketball, and has received much recognition for his efforts. This includes being awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), a Distinguished Long Service Award from the NSW Sports Federation and The Sir Ludwig Guttman Award from Disability Sports Australia.
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. Wheelchair Sports NSW will use its grant to buy two basketball wheelchairs for new players to try the sport.
“We would like to have a few chairs with different sizes on hand for their first go before they buy their first one,” says Craig.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.