Marcus Sander has experienced it all.
A Federal Police Officer for 25 years, he’s travelled the world for work and keeps active through kayaking, boxing and time in the gym.
Now, his next challenge will be to lead the Saints through their maiden season in the Victorian Wheelchair Football League.
Meet the eight players that will represent St Kilda in the VWFL
A motorcycle accident in 2012 left him with a T7 spinal cord injury, but he hasn’t let that hold him back.
He threw himself into single-disciplined sports of kayaking and rowing, but neither ignited the fire quite like the prospect of playing football again.
Three years later, an email from Disability Sport and Recreation Victoria changed everything. They were establishing a Wheelchair Football League and would he be interested in coming to try it out?
The answer was easy.
“I turned up, jumped into a sport wheelchair fell in love straight away,” Sander said.
“I was still able to handpass and do some regular motor skills that able-bodied footballers do that I used to be able to do.
“It just felt fantastic.”
He’s since gone on to represent Victoria on multiple occasions, including at this year’s National Championships held at Casey Stadium in March.
Sander was then named captain of St Kilda’s inaugural VWFL team earlier this year, set to bring a wealth of talent and leadership experience to the side.
"I was ecstatic, honoured and very proud to be have given such an opportunity," Sander said.
“To be given the chance to play for an AFL club against my fellow teammates (who were drafted to other clubs), it’s like a dream come true.
"I’m excited to see where the journey goes."
Joined at the season launch by renowned St Kilda goal sneak Stephen Milne, Sander praised the former Saint’s ability to pick up the sport.
“He was a bit unsteady in the wheelchair to start with, but I gave him a couple of pointers and Milney picked it up straight away. He even scored a couple of goals,” he said.
“I might have to have a chat to him to see if he’ll come and play with us some time.”
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,