Basketball Victoria CEO Wayne Bird named President of Ausrapid

Basketball Victoria CEO Wayne Bird named President of Ausrapid

Basketball Victoria CEO Wayne Bird has been named President of Ausrapid after Marie Little OAM announced her retirement at the organisation’s 25th Annual General Meeting in Melbourne recently.

Wayne Bird has been a member of the Board for four years and brings to the position a passion for inclusion and a wealth of experience as a sports administrator for over 20 years, and having led Basketball in Victoria for 9 years.  

When asked about his appointment Wayne said “I am very excited about the challenges ahead. As an organisation AUSRAPID has provided wonderful support to so many athletes and major sports over the years. Our philosophy is sound and our relationship with the National Sports Associations and government agencies continues to strengthen each year.”

Outgoing President Marie Little founded AUSRAPID and SASRAPID (South Australian Branch) and the philosophy of integration in Australia in the early eighties.  She was determined to change the mindset of previous thinking, relating to sport for people with a disability, often finding herself the lone voice on national committees fighting for the focus to be on an individual’s ability and not their disability.     

“It all stemmed from an innocent question from a young lady with a disability - Why can’t I play Netball?” Marie said as she delivered her final report.  That simple innocent question inspired Marie to make a difference.

Wayne commended the work of Marie Little. He stressed “the passion and energy she has had for the organisation, and more so for the athletes who benefit has been unbelievable. Marie can be very proud of her achievements and assured that her legacy will benefit many people for years to come.”

Marie Little will continue to assist the Board of AUSRAPID and will continue in her International capacities with INAS. The INAS General Assembly will be held in Australia in April and will provide an opportunity for International representatives and delegates to acknowledge the contribution Marie Little has made to both organisations and importantly the lives of people with an intellectual disability everywhere.

Marie was recognised for her contribution to sport and people with a disability 2006 when she was awarded an OAM.