What is the Associated Sports Australia Trust?
The Associated Sports Australia Trust (ASAT) was founded in 2000 to provide assistance to individuals and their families who have suffered a sport-related spinal injury.
ASAT’s initial function was to support and liaise with the family and injured individual to assist them in adapting to the sudden change in lifestyle; sourcing equipment and medical care, funding and professional support.
ASAT’s achievements include the Blue Mountains Blue Wave commemorative journey and educational program, the assistance and support of several Blue Mountains individuals who have suffered a sport-related spinal injury, and the ASAT Trust Plate, a fundraising golf tournament.
ASAT’s main focus is the Miles Graham Respite Retreat, a unique option for families with a member suffering a spinal injury, allowing the family to holiday together. The plans for the completely accessible holiday home include an in-house carer to allow the family a break from full-time care, without the stress of having to leave behind the injured individual for a holiday.
The Miles Graham Respite Retreat will be built in the Blue Mountains and there are many opportunities for business sponsorship and individual donations. See How You Can Help for more information.
When I heard that one of my long-time friends had been badly injured in a rugby league match on Sydney’s northern beaches, I immediately rushed to the hospital to visit him.
But when I arrived, and stepped into the room to find my mate unable to move below the neck, I was lost for words – and completely overcome with emotion.
The shock was so great, the situation so unfamiliar, that all I could say was “Do you feel like a beer, mate?”
He blinked at me four times, I went blank, and I left the room. It left a mark on me for the rest of my life.
On the long trip home from Sydney to Winmalee, all I could think of was how I could help my friend, and other people in the same position: left without the use of their arms and/or legs with so much of their life left to live.
I sat down with my lawyer and friend the next day. The result of that meeting is the Associated Sports Australia Trust.
It was only after my friend was injured – and lost the use of his arms and legs for the rest of his life – that I realised just how many people sustain spinal injuries while playing sport. Australia’s reputation as a sporting force is known around the world, but the silent fact is that people who suffer paraplegia or quadriplegia face an uphill battle just to survive.
Through ASAT I have devised a cycle where funds can be raised for people with spinal injuries through something as simple as people like us having a game of golf. We wish to help those to help themselves. Through the ASAT Trust Plate we have initiated a golf tournament that can operate in a similar way to the Holden Scramble. It adds a new, prestigious title to the golfing calendar and helps people with spinal injuries in the process.
Lump sum payments immediately after the injury is sustained do not help people in the course of their lives. They need ongoing physical, mental, emotional and financial support and ASAT aims to help provide that support.
It takes time and effort to build great things, but together we can make a difference.