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Saints launch VWFL team

Marcus Sander pictured with Stephen Milne at the launch of the Robert Rose Foundation Victorian Wheelchair Football League

The St Kilda Football Club is proud to be fielding their first-ever Wheelchair Football team.

The Saints will be one of five teams participating in the inaugural Robert Rose Foundation Victorian Wheelchair Football League (VWFL).

Five clubs will participate in the competition, with Collingwood, Hawthorn, Essendon and Richmond also set to field teams. The 10-round competition will run between May and August, with the Grand Final to be played in September during the AFL Bye-Round.

The Saints will be led by Marcus Sander, who has officially been appointed the inaugural Captain of the St Kilda AFL Wheelchair Team.

"I was ecstatic, honoured and very proud to be have given such an opportunity," Sander said.

"I’m excited to see where the journey goes." 

A Federal Police Officer for 25 years, he has been at the forefront of the sport since its inception.

A strong leader, Sander will represent Victoria for the third time at the National championships at Casey Stadium March 21-23.

The VWFL will see two teams of five players each take to a basketball court, with a handball the equivalent to a kick and an underarm throw comparable to a handball, as per traditional AFL.

It's a game that Sander warmed to immediately.

“I fell in love straight away,” Sander said.

“The minute I had a football in my hands and was able to still handpass and do regular motor skills that regular footballers do,  it was fantastic.”

The VFWL competition is open to anyone with a physical disability, people with mobility issues as well as able-bodied people who are interested in getting involved. 

Round 1 of the VWFL season will commence on Sunday May 6 at Boroondara Sports Complex.

For those interested in the VWFL, please contact AFL Victoria FIDA Football & AAA Programs Manager Scott Nicholas at scott.nicholas@afl.com.au