Australian Paralympic Committee Media Release

Media Release






Australian Paralympic Committee Media Release

Wednesday, 26th February 2014


ABC1 to broadcast Sochi 2014 Paralympics


The Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) can reveal ABC TV has signed as Australia’s official broadcaster of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, which begin 7 March, 2014.

It will be the third consecutive Paralympic Winter Games covered by the ABC with the agreement this time extending beyond the television broadcast to include the growing online environment.

Under the agreement, ABC TV will broadcast the Opening Ceremony live on 8 March (from 3am AEDST) as well as a half hour daily highlights package at 10:30am on ABC1, and nightly repeats at 6pm, also on ABC1.

The ABC will also live stream all alpine skiing events, as well as selected cross-country and biathlon events and the popular ice sledge hockey on ABC Grandstand’s website, and make all daily highlights packages available to watch on iView.


“We are pleased to again have the ABC as our broadcast partner as we work to bring the Paralympic Winter Games to all Australians,” said APC President, Glenn Tasker.

“Much like the winter Olympics, the Paralympic Winter Games appeal to the athlete and daredevil in all of us and we look forward to Australians tuning in to continue their interest in Sochi and of course, support our Paralympic Team,” he said.

“The ABC has a deep connection with the Paralympic movement, having covered a number of Paralympics now including the very successful coverage of the London 2012 Games.

“We are very excited by what the ABC is offering in terms of their Sochi coverage, and we are confident the ABC team in Russia will deliver an outstanding product to give Australians watching at home a great viewer experience.”

The ABC’s broadcast will be presented by Amanda Shalala and Darren Boyd as well as special guests from the Australian Paralympic movement.

Australia will send a team of nine athletes and two sighted guides to Sochi, including three snowboarders to contest the first Para-snowboarding event on the Paralympic program.

“We’re excited to again have Amanda and Darren bring the Paralympic Games to Australians. We saw them on the London 2012 coverage, they have a strong affiliation with the Paralympic Games and together with members of our team and our movement, will bring great expertise and commentary for the viewers back in Australia,” said APC Chief Executive, Jason Hellwig.

“A key strategic goal for the APC is to increase media coverage of the Paralympic Games and Australia’s Paralympians over the next four years and we are pleased to again be working with the ABC to share the performances of our winter Team with everyone at home.”

The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games begin 7 March through to 16 March 2014.

ABC1 – Broadcast Schedule

Sat 8 March

  • Opening Ceremony – 3:00-5:00am

Sat 8 March to Mon 17 March

  • Daily highlights – 10:30am & repeated at 6:00pm


ABC Grandstand online streaming –

Interested in sport?

Australian Paralympic Committee Invite you to come and try a range of para-sports such as swimming,
athletics, cycling, wheelchair rugby and many more…


Interested in sport

Click here: APC Come Try Poster 2014

10am – 1pm, 15th March 2014

The National Centre of Indigenous Excellence
166-180 George St Redfern NSW 2016

Contact Kara Retford at the
Australian Paralympic Committee today:
T: +61 2 9704 0531 l M: +61 407 499 384
E: [email protected]

Bandaged Bear Day Breakfast 2014

BBD Banner






APC Prosthetics will be holding our fourth Bandaged Bear Day Breakfast at our Northmead facility.

All funds we raise will go directly to “The Limb Deficiency Clinic” for
The Children’s Hospital, Westmead.”

Come and join us on Friday 28th March 2014 and make a donation to help raise funds for The Bandaged Bear Day Appeal.

When: Friday 28th March 2014
Time: 8am – 10am
Place: APC Prosthetics
2 Redbank Road
Northmead NSW 2152
Cost: $10 per person
RSVP: 21/3/2014 – Ph: 02 9890 8123
or Email: [email protected]

If you are unable to attend our fundraising breakfast and would like to show your support you can donate online at:

The people behind the scene

You might meet the prosthetist at clinic for casting and then again some days later for fitting of your new prosthesis. But who’s behind the work that goes into each and every prosthetic?

Once the cast is back in the workshop it is filled with plaster to get the exact shape of the residual limb. The plaster mould is then modified by the prosthetist using measurements taking during casting.

Behind the scene

The socket needs to be laminated, aligned, grinded and then assembled. These processes are critical for each prosthetic in ensuring a good product. The time between the casting until fitting of the new prosthesis includes several hours of hard work.

We have a great group of technicians who play a crucial role in the manufacturing of the prosthesis. They work very hard during this process not to mention having to meet tight deadlines set by stressed prosthetists.

From the casting until you walk out with your new prosthesis you can be sure there is more than one person that has been involved in making your new prosthesis.

A big THANK YOU to the guys & girls behind the scenes!

Click through if you would like to “meet” some of the people behind the scenes at Northmead or in the Hunter 









Some colour anyone?


Pop Star

You may have noticed that over the past few weeks our technical gurus have made some really cool looking prosthetic sockets for some really cool people.

The options for the finish of a prosthetic socket are endless. Whilst most prosthetic sockets are made to approximate the human skin colour, the design of a prosthetic socket is an individual choice.Some examples you might have seen on our Facebook page are a very fast Ferrari running leg, a design that provides some extra exposure for a pop singer, an ode to all things pink and many, many more.

A commonly requested “finish” is the high gloss carbon fibre look or a socket that depicts favourite superheroes. Another regular is an “aqua” theme for waterproof or swimming prostheses.


The basic principle is that virtually anything that can be printed on a stretchy material, such as Lycra, can be used as the finishing design of a prosthetic socket. You can also have your socket made in any colour and choose between a high gloss and matt finish.


So, if you have thought about individualising your prosthetic socket, please speak to your friendly prosthetist about it and you are on the way to you unique piece of art.

So long


Microprocessor Feet

I recently attended a product information session on Endolite feet presented by John Ross, a prosthetist from the UK. John introduced us to the Elan microprocessor foot. After the session I looked into what other microprocessor feet were available and found quite a few other interesting feet and have included a few of them below.

Unlike conventional prosthetic feet, which generally have a fixed ankle, microprocessor feet allow for the ankle position to be changed without the need of a ground reaction force.  The ankle is controlled by the microprocessor which adapts to type of ground to make walking more energy efficient and safer for the user.  This means that the ankle is able to automatically be moved into the position that you need, whether you are going up or down a hill, sitting in a chair or climbing the stairs.



The Elan by Endolite



The Elan by Endolite incorporates a carbon fibre foot with a microprocessor controlled hydraulic ankle unit. Sensors in the foot continuously monitor the environment and change the characteristics of the foot and ankle to offer the most energy efficient response to accommodate slopes and stairs. The microprocessor adjusts the hydraulic ankle unit in order to control dorsiflexion (toe-up) and plantarflexion (toe-down) of the ankle unit. This aids in optimising the loading of the carbon fibre foot on varying terrains, allowing it to store and release energy more efficiently through the gait cycle.






The Proprio Foot by Ossur



Ossur’s Proprio Foot refers to proprioception, the sense of where a limb is in space, which enables the human body to react to its environment. It incorporates a carbon fibre foot with a microprocessor controlled hydraulic ankle unit. Sensors in the Proprio foot determine the direction and speed of the foot movement. The microprocessor then controls the angle of the ankle during swing phase (when the foot is off the ground) to help reduce falls. It also makes adjustments to accommodate differences in force, speed and terrain during stance phase (when the foot is on the ground) to create a more efficient gait. The Proprio foot will also accommodate a variety of shoes as it can be preset for shoes with different heel heights.





The Power Foot by iWalk with the BiOM ankle



The Power Foot by iWalk with the BiOM ankle is the only prosthetic foot to provide active propulsion during the gait cycle. The Power Foot replaces the missing calf muscle and the Achilles tendon and allows the amputee to actively push off the ground resulting in the most energy efficient gait possible. The Power Foot generates energy for walking by using multiple springs and a small battery-powered motor.

Other microprocessor feet that are currently available or being trialled include the Raize by Fillauer and Magellan by Orthocare Innovations. As with any prosthetic component, these feet are not suitable for every amputee, and there may be something else more suitable for you. However, if you are interested in finding out more information on any of these feet, or other components, ask your prosthetist on your next visit.




Michael Storey

Michael Torrens




What sport would you like to be involved in?

Moto Knee 2

Recently, a client came for a review of his Trans-femoral (above-knee) prosthesis.  He mentioned during the consultation about having seen a knee and foot that were suitable for motocross, skiing and other extreme sports (something he has quite an interest in).

We discussed the different options available for doing these kinds of sports and what type of prosthesis, including socket designs, components and materials may work.  From this a prescription was developed. The particular knee and foot that was decided upon was a Moto Knee and Versa Foot.

Versa foot

This is designed and manufactured in the US for the specific purpose of extreme sports – including water sports such as wake boarding –

We have recently fitted the finished prosthesis (following a couple of socket and alignment check fittings), and it is currently being trialed.



motorcross legHere is a picture of the prosthesis during the check fit stage (it looks even tougher with the finished carbon fibre socket attached!):

The client is really happy with the knee and foot for a number of reasons:

  • He finds that rather than just absorbing shock during knee bend, the knee actually assists him in returning from a crouched position to standing (particularly useful in extreme sports).
  • The foot also absorbs shock, allowing for a simulation of the normal knee and ankle function.
  • The myriad of customisable settings on the knee and foot give him the ability to tailor the settings to each individual activity.
  • The knee can be used in water sports as well.

If you are interested in finding out about this particular knee and foot or other components like them that would help you with your sport, ask your prosthetist for more details.

As with any prosthetic component, this is not something that is suitable for every amputee, and there may be something else more suitable for you.


Paul Nixon_1






Please note: The Moto Knee & Versa Foot is NOT available under the NSW PLS.


Children’s Prosthetic Options

An Arm for Master S – First Fitting with Cameron Ward

Back in September I had the pleasure of helping a young guy – Let’s call him Master S.  At the time only 7 months old, Master S is the youngest person I have ever fit with a prosthesis.

Fitting young children often comes with its many challenges; particularly in the early days, as the child gets to know the strange person who is trying to attach a foreign object to their body.

Casting can be a harrowing experience for Prosthetist and child alike as it is not often something they enjoy and for the best results the residual limb being cast needs to be held still.

Master S was different right from the start, a really happy boy with a big smile.  Instead of normal difficulties when casting an upset child who is thrashing about, Master S instead found the whole process funny and the casting itself another form of tickle torture!

From the cast, the tiniest and cutest prosthesis I have ever made was then created.  We used a custom silicone interface to suspend the prosthesis and provide the perfect connection between the socket and his smooth 7 month old skin – It was so small it fit into the palm of my hand!

Smallest Arm I've made

Smallest Arm I’ve made

The fitting process was even more memorable to me, as instead of pulling his arm straight off and throwing it on the floor, he again found it entertaining that he had a new toy connected to him and that it moved with him.

It meant so much to me to be able to provide something for this little guy and his lovely parents  – I think this video says it all and I hope it you enjoy watching it as much as I do!





APC Prosthetics Movember Campaign

APC Thomo

Dave Thomas – Mo Man

For those of you who don’t know, my gorgeous wife Isobel works extremely hard for Movember Foundation, the global men’s health charity which started here in Australia. Every year Movember aims to raise vital funds & awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer & mental health. The aim is to challenge men to grow their best “mo” for the 30 days in November, & to encourage family, friends, workmates, bosses, businesses (basically anyone!) to sponsor their efforts. It’s a fantastic initiative which not only raises funds for specific programs but also promotes conversation & awareness of these men’s health issues which often get swept under the carpet.

As our way of supporting Izzy and the Movember team, APC Prosthetics has launched our very first Movember Challenge! We have recruited all of the APC men in a test to see who can match the most famous of APC Mo’s – belonging of course to David Howells!

We would love your support, so please check out our team page where you can keep up-to-date with our progress and make a donation to the APC Prosthetics team, or choose your favourite & donate to them….

All donations – big & small – are warmly appreciated, but the main aim is to promote conversation. Chat to the men in your life and encourage them to go and have a check-up or to seek the help that they may need.

 David Thomas – APC Prosthetics & Movember – Changing the face of men’s health!