James Hill

Sunshine Coast local Wheelchair Rugby League named in Maroons Squad

Sunshine Coast local Wheelchair Rugby League named in Maroons Squad

Maroons Interstate Challenge Team Announced

2 June 2023

On the 2nd June 2023 Sunshine Coast local James Hill was named in the Queensland Wheelchair Rugby League team selected for the upcoming interstate challenge against NSW in July.

The 10 person Wheelchair Rugby League team selected to Represent Queensland are

  • Shaun Harre (C)
  • Zac Schumacher (C)
  • Dan Anstey
  • Pete Arbuckle
  • Brett Bazley
  • James Hill
  • Gage Ives
  • Bayley McKenna
  • Cory Mostran
  • Adam Tannock


The QLD team’s State Challenge campaign will be led by:

  • Jack Brown, Coach
  • JJ Atuahiva, Assistant Coach
  • Jade Brown, Manager
  • Angus Sullivan & Peter Lee, Trainers.


The Interstate Challenge schedule:

Saturday, 8 July 2023, at Quaycentre, Sydney Olympic Park

The State Challenge is a key event on the Wheelchair Rugby League calendar.

The team selection comes following the highly contested City V Country game played last weekend at Caloundra stadium where 20 Queenslanders were contesting for a Maroons jersey.

Maroons Coach Jack Brown said “Last weekend’s City V Country match also served as a last-ditch attempt to earn a Queensland jersey for the upcoming interstate match with New South Wales, players went to another level in the intense clash, as they did all they could to put their names forward for selection.

Brown, who was also coach of the Country team, said the level of skill had noticeably increased over the past two years, particularly off the back of last year’s Rugby League Wheelchair World Cup.

As he looks to lock in his squad for the July 8 showdown with NSW, Brown said he has some difficult calls ahead, joking he would need paracetamol and would probably endure a few sleepless nights.”

Photos – James Hill #7 Blue in the City V Country selection match  & World cup – Wheelaroos.

Photos courtesy – Sharon Hill Suncoast Spinners

James Hill – City v Country (Photos courtesy of Sharon Hill Suncoast Spinners)

James Hill can add the 2023 Maroons selection to his credits following his outstanding performance in the Wheelchair Rugby League world Cup last November when James was named player of the match in the Australia v Spain game.  Hill was first introduced to wheelchair sports in 2012 through the Duke of Edinburgh program in Year 9 at Chancellor State High School. He was involved in Suncoast Spinners regular wheelchair basketball program based out of USC Stadium on Wednesday nights, where he volunteered as head coach for the past 6 years.

James is one of the many wheelchair sport players without a physical disability who have become regular players of the sport through the concept of ‘reverse inclusion’ an initiative of Suncoast Spinners. Reverse Inclusion is based on the concept that a truly inclusive sport can be created when sports that were traditionally played by people with a disability are participated in by both people with and without disabilities. While people without disabilities are not eligible to compete in Paralympic sports like wheelchair basketball at the highest level, Wheelchair Rugby League does offer opportunities for people without a disability to compete at the highest level.

The potential for Reverse Inclusion practice to contribute to the advancement of wheelchair sport is huge according to Australian Paralympic dual medalist Bridie Kean: “Our sport [wheelchair basketball] is stronger, when we have people like James come and play. It increases quality and numbers, which means that we get better quality of training. Not to mention wheelchair basketball is just an awesome sport to play in its own right, and when people come and play they see that. I would encourage anyone who loves tactical and competitive sports to play wheelchair basketball.”

Hill has competed in wheelchair Rugby League for 9 years when first introduced to QLD, wheelchair basketball for over 10 years, and is an outdoor education teacher. Kean says Hill’s contribution to the sport is an example of why creating inclusive sporting environments enhance sports like wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby league: “James has contributed so much to our sport. He is a brilliant wheelchair basketball player and his athleticism in the wheelchair clearly transferred over to his wheelchair rugby league style of play. But James’ contribution to the sport is not just as a player. His natural coaching and teaching abilities are engaging, and he has led so many workshops that introduce people with and without disabilities around our region to a truly inclusive sporting opportunity. Yes, James has the option to play any sport, but he has chosen to play and contribute to para-sport and he has not just contributed to the growth of wheelchair sports in the region, he’ll go on to do amazing things in coaching too.”

James says that discovering wheelchair sports has changed his life…. “Since my involvement in wheelchair sports it has had such a profound effect on my life in more ways than I can possibly imagine.” 

Not only has James competed at the recent world cup and brought home a World Cup Player of the match Medal, he is looking to expand inclusive sport on the Sunshine Coast through the Suncoast Spinners Reverse Inclusion program. “I would definitely recommend wheelchair sports to any Ab athlete. You begin to have a greater understanding not only about the hardship and day to day hurdles people with disabilities face but amazing capabilities. “James Hill.

In 2022 James co-hosted the Take a Seat podcast bringing awareness to Disability Sport and support. James had the fortune to interview Disability sports legends Adam Hills, Bridie Kean and many more. All 26 episodes are available here: https://pod.link/1609241828

Contact Suncoast Spinners info@suncoastspinners.com.au

James Hill jmh069@outlook.com

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