State pride and family ties will guide the Construction Sciences Queensland Maroons in their quest for success at the NRL Wheelchair Rugby League State Challenge to be held in Sydney on Saturday 8th July.
Construction Sciences Queensland Maroons debutant Brett Bazley is excited to join the team in 2023 as the team rivalry builds to defend Queensland’s title against the NSW Blues in a head-to-head interstate clash.
Brett’s father, Arthur Bazley, from Construction Sciences’ Melbourne Laboratory, has been his biggest supporter, mentor and role model in Brett’s life, and is proud his son has been selected for the squad.
“Dad never missed any of my games growing up, sitting in freezing temperatures and heatwaves just to drive me to and from venues. It’s a bit tougher these days due to the distance between us, but still Dad supports my every dream, is there to keep me grounded and pick me up if I need it. I can only hope my own kids look up to me the way I do to him and that I can inspire and support them the same way,” Brett said.
Brett plays wheelchair rugby league in Townsville and was selected for the Queensland Maroons after playing in the Queensland City versus Country game on the Sunshine Coast.
“I have been so fortunate and grateful to be playing, learning and training with some of Australia’s best wheelchair rugby league players in Townsville. They have taught me so much about the sport so far, and I still have so much to learn and improve on,” Brett said.
“I am really grateful for this opportunity and that I have been welcomed so easily into the community.”
Brett played and excelled at sport his whole life. He grew up in Victoria playing AFL in winter and cricket in summer, so the fast pace of wheelchair rugby league was a natural sport to keep him active.
“I played representative AFL through school and was picked up in the rookie AFL draft but was too young to go at the time. Instead, I joined the Army, who I also played AFL for, but unfortunately was medically discharged after six years with some lifetime injuries, which has affected me physically and mentally.”
“I needed to have something sports oriented in my life, to push myself and the mateship from playing team sports and being in the Army. I think it is really important for kids to play sport, especially team sport, and this could be a great option for so many. My own son Roman is keen to play as well and I think that is one of the big draw cards for the sport, that people of many ages can play together so hopefully one day Roman and I might play together for Queensland or even Australia.
Construction Sciences Queensland Maroons’ preparations for the State Challenge have included two weekend camps in June, with the first camp located in Townsville and the final camp on the Gold Coast, in addition to the City vs Country game in late May.
“Even though my first and only try in that game was ruled out, and I had to make some running repairs on my borrowed chair, I guess I showed enough grit and passion to be chosen in the squad,” Brett said.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to take some time off from work in order to concentrate on my training, increasing my fitness and chair time, as well as getting my body right.
“It’s been pretty intensive, and I am not afraid to say I’ve been battered and bruised as well as frequent blood blisters on my hands.
“I have been told I hit pretty hard, a take no prisoners kind of attitude, so maybe in years to come the ‘Bazley Bash’ will be my move. You can guarantee I will do my best and never give up till that final siren.
“Apart from training, building team morale has been the key focus of these weekends which has been great to be in that team bubble for a little while.
“I look forward to repaying that faith and all the time and effort everyone has put into me so far. Of course, I couldn’t be here without the support of my family and want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for letting me be me.
“Thanks also goes to my teammates, the coaches and support crew, and last but never least, our amazing sponsors who have embraced the sport,” Brett said.
Construction Sciences is the naming rights sponsor for the 2023 Queensland Maroons Squad in partnership with the Queensland Wheelchair Rugby League (QWRL).
Coverage will be live on Saturday afternoon, 8th July from 3 pm, on ABC Radio, ABC SPORT digital radio, the ABC SPORT website or via the ABC Listen app.
2023 NRL Wheelchair Rugby League State Challenge
Saturday 8 July 2023 – 1:30 PM – 5:00 PM AEST
Whitlam Leisure Centre, 90A Memorial Avenue, Liverpool NSW
Tickets for the State Challenge are available via: https://www.trybooking.com/CISTD
Doors open 1.30 pm
Preliminary Wheelchair Rugby League Demonstrations from 1.45 pm to 2.30 pm
Main game commences 3 pm