About the Western Electric Sporting Association (WESA)
The Western Electric Sporting Association (WESA) is based in Perth, Western Australia. We provide sporting opportunities for people who require an electric wheelchair for personal independence, and individuals with neuromuscular conditions. Our season consists of Balloon Soccer, Hockey and Rugby League. Towards the end of the season, a team of six players is selected to represent Western Australia at the National Electric Wheelchair Sports (N.E.W.S) which is held in Sydney. WESA aims to provide opportunities for electric wheelchair users to participate in individual and team sport events at Local, Regional, State and National levels.
Balloon soccer was introduced at N.E.W.S in 1987. The non-contact sport is played with a large balloon on an indoor basketball court, where players attempt to score goals with their heads or wheelchair. Players are not allowed to move their hands or feet from their usual stationary position on the body or wheelchair, and deliberately interfere with play. This keeps the sport as fair as possible. A team consists of six players, five on the court and one substitute who may be interchanged throughout the game. The playing field is divided into an eight square grid, each square being equal in size. Four of the players are restricted to four adjoining squares, while the fifth player is allowed in six adjoining squares. Two upright posts five metres apart are located centrally on the goal line at both ends of the field. A crossbar is fixed to the goal posts at a height of 2 metres.
Hockey was introduced at the first N.E.W.S in 1986. This form of hockey is broadly based on field-hockey. The non-contact sport is played on indoors on a basketball court that is divided into three areas of equal size. These areas are referred to as defence, centre and forward. At the centre of each end (goal line), a half circle of five metres diameter is marked on the court and is known as the shooting circle. Players can only score from within the shooting circle. These are five positions on court, goalkeeper, defender, left-wing, right-wing and centre. The centre player is permitted to move between the two shooting circles but must not enter them. The left and right wing players can access the centre and forward sections of the court, however, cannot enter the defensive third. The goalkeeper and defender are restricted to only their defensive third of the court.
This form of rugby league is a modified version of rugby for users of electric wheelchairs. Rugby league was first introduced to N.E.W.S in 1990. The sport is played by imagining the flight of a ball between numbered players who call the number of their team mate who is intended to receive the 'ball', subject to 'tackles' by opposing players. This is to make the sport as fair as possible, where players only need a voice and good driving skills to compete. A tennis ball is used to commence play and convert a 'try' into a 'goal'.