Messes fund new chair for Matt

Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author), POIS James Whittle (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Stirling, WA

Topic(s): Charities, Fundraising & Community, Adaptive Sports

Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Matthew Brown (front right), pictured with fellow Navy amputee Able Seaman Marine Technician Mark Daniels (front left), is presented with a wheelchair rugby chair by HMAS Stirling personnel at the Tammar Tavern, HMAS Stirling. (photo: POIS James Whittle)
Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Matthew Brown (front right), pictured with fellow Navy amputee Able Seaman Marine Technician Mark Daniels (front left), is presented with a wheelchair rugby chair by HMAS Stirling personnel at the Tammar Tavern, HMAS Stirling.

A sailor who lost his leg in a motor vehicle accident in 2018 was recently presented with a custom-made sports wheelchair to help him participate in the Australian Defence Force’s acclaimed Adaptive Sports Program.

The wheelchair was jointly funded by the Sir James Stirling mess and the Tammar Tavern (Junior Sailor’s Mess) at HMAS Stirling.

It’s larger than a standard wheelchair so that it better fits Able Seaman Matt Brown’s body shape.

Stirling’s Command Warrant Officer Andrew Bertoncin said after losing his leg last year, Able Seaman Brown – a Maritime Logistics Chef - was included in the Adaptive Sports Program as part of his recovery process.

“The Australian Defence Force Sports Program uses sport as a mechanism for rehabilitation for injured serving members,” he said.

“It seeks improvements not only in the physical wellbeing of members, but also their mental health, by connecting them socially through sport.”

Able Seaman Brown and shipmate Able Seaman Marine Technician Mark Daniels were selected to be part of the Warrior Games team currently representing Australia in Florida, USA.

“Both players were involved in the wheelchair rugby and basketball teams and have been training with the WA Enforcers Wheelchair Rugby team,” Warrant Officer Bertoncin said.

Both members are also involved in the Invictus Games - the international adaptive multi-sport event for wounded, injured and ill armed services personnel that was created by His Royal Highness Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.

Warrant Officer Bertoncin said the generosity of both the Sir James Stirling Mess and the Tammar Tavern was an example of Navy members digging deep to help their teammates.

“It’s a great display of the Navy team working together,” he said.

For more information on the Adaptive Sports Program, go to http://www.defence.gov.au/jcg/ADF_Sport/ADFASP/