7th March, 2024 — Good Sports awards

Damien Mortaud wins Queensland Volunteer of the Year

Damien Mortaud from Suncoast Spinners was named runner-up of the 2023 National Volunteer of the Year and winner of the 2023 QLD Good Sports Volunteer of the Year. He was recognised for being the beating heart of his club and going beyond the usual undertakings of a volunteer.

Club Secretary, Sharon Hill, said Damien is always looking at new ways to engage people with quadriplegia in the club’s wheelchair programs to ensure they have access to sport.

“As a father, Wheelchair Rugby Australia player, and a person with quadriplegia, Damien shows great resilience and leadership, delivering two wheelchair rugby programs weekly,” Sharon said.

Hosted by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation at Parliament House, Canberra in February 2024, the Awards ceremony recognised Good Sports clubs and their dedicated volunteers from across the country who are passionate about community, their members and making their club the very best it can be.

A huge contribution to wheelchair rugby

At his club, Damien provides practical learning on game development. He fosters a sense of belonging in a truly inclusive environment where participants range in gender, age, and ability, all playing in the one program, together, as equals.

“His knowledge and understanding of the game is crucial to providing a program that meets the needs its participants, and ensuring there is sport available for people with high physical needs,” Sharon said.

“During workshops with students, Damien is open about the barriers he faces in living with quadriplegia yet delivers a fun and interactive program where participants leave uplifted, with a strong understanding of the benefits of inclusive wheelchair sports.”

“Damien is contributing so much to wheelchair rugby as a player and volunteer coach. Suncoast Spinners are grateful for Damien’s contribution to the game of wheelchair rugby in our club and beyond, introducing many people to this wonderful sport,” Suncoast Spinners president, Bridie Kean added. 

Suncoast Spinners has reached the highest level of the Good Sports program, having implemented policies that cover alcohol and tobacco management, illegal drugs, mental health, and safe transport.  

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