State of the art wheelchair brightens former Paralympian Goldfinch

Queanbeyan former Paralympian Murray Goldfinch with his new sports wheelchair. Photo: Joshua Matic.SINCE 2008 former Queanbeyan Paralympian Murray Goldfinch has been on the shy side, and has kept himself away from the public domain, but last Monday he was able to light up again after he received his first sports wheelchair.

Potentially one of the largest wheelchairs of its type in the world, Murray will now look forward to playing sport again with his $8599 wheelchair, which he will use to play wheelchair basketball for the Canberra Chargers in the NSW Wheelchair Basketball competition.

As well as using funding from his Independent Accomodation Support Package, the Snow Foundation and Partners in Recovery from the Disability Trust came on board to sponsor Goldfinch for his new wheelchair.

But it has been a very hard past six years for the Sydney 2000 double bronze medallist Paralympian.

In 2008 he was bashed with a baseball bat, suffering spinal injuries, and unable to walk properly, was forced into a wheelchair.

The ordeal also brought on mental illness, and while he was still able to train in wheelchair basketball with his normal wheelchair, he was unable to play in matches as he did not have a sports wheelchair.

Due to his large build, he needed to specially-made wheelchair, and with the funds raised, he was finally able to purchase one this year.

Goldfinch said having his new equipment would raise his spirits dramatically.

“After my assault I became very depressed, as I had always played sports, and was no longer able to,” he said.

“Now that I can play, my dream is to make the Australian team, and hopefully be able to play in the Paralympics again.”

A separate injury ended the 30-year old’s shot put and discuss career in 2007, and a seven year full time stint at the AIS.

His disability was intellectual, but after Sydney 2000, intellectual disabilities were removed from the Paralympics, but he was still able to set a world shot put record in Canberra in 2005.

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