2023’s Tri State Games (the Games) were held recently from 12-17 November. Over 250 athletes competed in this years’ amazing annual weeklong sporting event for athletes with a disability living in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.

Due to covid restrictions, the Games were not held in 2020-21, but 2023 saw it back and better than ever, hosted by Cobram, Barooga and Yarrawonga.

Featuring fierce (but friendly) interstate competition in the fields of swimming, athletics track and field, indoor sports such as darts and eight ball and team sports such as soccer and lawn bowls, the Tri State Games provides people with a significant or profound disability an opportunity to participate in sporting activities they may not usually have access to.

PALS Panthers absolutely roared this year, taking home 70+ medals overall, excelling at a range of events.

This exceptional effort resulted in PALS Panthers sharing the Best Overall Team win and ‘Perpetual Shield’ (pictured above) alongside South Australia’s Arrows.

Huge congratulations to Nathan Hendrie for receiving the ‘Best Male Athlete, Category A’ award (pictured left) for his outstanding performance across the games.

Another highlight was PALS Panthers A team taking first place in the Best Athletics Team category.

Gary Pizzini, a PALS Disability Support Worker who has been involved with the Tri State Games since 2005 said, “..a highlight for me was seeing a young fellow who is usually a bit withdrawn, and it was his first Games. When he won and received his third medal, he lifted his head and big, beaming smile came across his face.”

“When you see things like that you think, ‘Wow, we’ve made a little inroad here.’”, Gary said.

Check out a range of photos from the week over on Tri-State Games’ Facebook page, and to see our album of PALS participants in action, click here >>

The Tri State Games began in 1986 in the town of Mildura with staff and clients of the Christie Centre inviting other centres to come and enjoy some fun competition and social interaction. The Games are important as they not only promote inclusivity, they also provide disability awareness opportunities to communities hosting the games through the training and inclusion of local volunteers, sporting and service clubs and community groups.

It is a fantastic celebration of coming together in friendly competition, an embodiment of the Tri State Games oath:

“In the name of all athletes,

I promise,

We can and we will do our best,

at the Tri-State games,

In the true spirit of friendship and sportsmanship”

Thank you to event organisers, the hardworking staff, generous volunteers, and congratulations to all competitors who took part in the 2023 Tri State Games. We can’t wait to see everyone again in Portland next year!

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