Good Luck to Naz and the Aussie Steelers as they defend their 2012 Paralympic Games title at this year’s Games in Rio!
Spire is extremely proud of our Peer Support Team Leader, Naz Erdem who is heading off to Rio to compete for Australia in his fifth Paralympic Games!
A veteran member of the Australian Wheelchair Rugby team, Naz will compete alongside nearly 200 Australian and over 4000 International athletes as they fight to bring home the gold.
With 2 silver medals and a gold under his belt, Naz is expecting a tough slog and fierce competition at this year’s games.
Naz said, “Australia has been a target in international competitions since we won gold at London in 2012. “
“We came second at the Asia-Oceania Championship in Japan so we’re coming back as underdogs and we’ll have to really bring it to win gold this year.”
Naz is a defender for the Australian Steelers. As the eldest member of the team, he often acts as a mentor for his teammates. In his role as Spire Peer Support team leader, Naz has also mentored and supported countless other people with spinal cord injuries (SCI) to set and achieve goals and live life well.
Being a role model came naturally to Naz, who took up wheelchair rugby in 1992 partially to demonstrate determination to his younger brother, Muhammet.
Fitness, socialising and passion for the game motivated Naz to continue playing and 24 years later his passion hasn’t faded.
“I started playing wheelchair rugby as part of my rehabilitation because I didn’t want to see what unhealthy looked like”.
“Competing in the Paralympics was never my aim but it’s taken me around the world. It’s been fantastic.” He said.
The Spire community wishes Naz and the team good luck for Rio and hopes they can add another gold to their medal collection.
The 2016 Summer Paralympic Games will take place from 8-19 September. You can watch and cheer on our athletes on Network 7 and keep up to date with Naz and the Australian Steelers on their Facebook page.
For more information on Australia’s Paralympic athletes, click here.
If you are interested in joining a team or would like more information about wheelchair rugby in Victoria, visit Disability Sport and Recreation.
The 2016 Australian Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby Team members are:
Ryley Batt – Port Macquarie, NSW
Chris Bond – Battery Hill, QLD
Cameron Carr – Port Macquarie, NSW
Andrew Edmondson – Kingsford, NSW
Nazim Erdem – Roxburgh Park, VIC
Ben Fawcett – Cormadai, VIC
Andrew Harrison – Bayswater North, VIC
Josh Hose – Footscray, VIC
Jason Lees – Hoppers Crossing, VIC
Matt Lewis – Pakenham, VIC
Ryan Scott (c) – Zillmere, QLD
Jayden Warn – Drouin, VIC
This article is also available here.