ATech’s owner and Managing Director, Sarah-Jane Peterschlingmann and board member Kirsty McCann are participating in the Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association's CEO Wheelie Challenge. They spent the work day in a wheelchair on Friday 16 June 2023 to raise funds and experience a day in the life of someone living with a disability.
To be eligible to participate in the CEO Wheelie Challenge, each participant has a minimum fundraising target of $5,000. The funds raised help improve the lives of people with a disability.
The day started at 7am at Sporting Wheelies headquarters in Albion. Along with the other CEO Wheelie Challenge participants (including RACQ’s David Carter, Bond University’s Tim Brailsford, and The Ascott’s David Mansfield), Ms Peterschlingmann and Ms McCann collected their wheelchairs, got some very important safety tips and grabbed a quick breakfast.
ATech’s Chair Gary Linton is also on the board of Sporting Wheelies and was there providing support to all of the CEO Wheelie Challenge participants.
Ms Peterschlingmann said, “Everyone was very friendly when we were out and about. However, spending the day in a wheelchair was a lot harder than I expected. It was physically challenging and, quite frankly, exhausting.
“We had a board meeting that day and the conference room where it was held was in a different building. Even accessing the toilets was a challenge, as there wasn’t enough room for a wheelchair.
“It really opened my eyes. I hadn’t realised all footpaths are sloped towards the gutter. I couldn’t fit through the doorways. It was really tough! I have even more respect for people who navigate life with a wheelchair.
“ATech’s Chair Gary Linton is also on the board of Sporting Wheelies. When Gary suggested I get involved in the CEO Wheelie Challenge, I jumped at the chance. Sporting Wheelies is a fantastic charity dedicated to empowering people with a disability to live healthy, active and fulfilled lives.
“I want to help raise essential funds so people with a disability can continue to participate in sports, recreation and rehabilitation therapy.
“In addition to raising much needed funds, I hope my participation also encourages fellow employers to think about: Can you access your office in a wheelchair? Are there ramps or lifts? Can you access all areas including the bathrooms, lunch room, meeting rooms and print room?.”
ATech Non Executive Director Ms McCann said, “I'm fundraising for two reasons: I'm raising critical funds needed to support the growth of sport for people with a disability.
“I'm also raising awareness of the challenges people with disabilities face, and promoting something I am passionate about: inclusive, diverse and unified communities.”
Mr Linton has a personal motivation for his involvement with Sporting Wheelies. When Mr Linton moved to Brisbane from the UK in the early eighties, he met his second cousin for the first time.
Mr Linton said, “I first met my cousin when he was in his early twenties. He had become a paraplegic following a gym accident at school. What really struck me about him was how patient and accepting he is. Instead of wondering ‘why me?’, he is outwardly focused and always looking for what he can do for other people.
“He became a Paralympic weightlifter and gold medallist, and was also the CEO of Sporting Wheelies for many years. He retired as CEO and when it was suggested I go on the board, I thought it was a great way to honour him by getting involved and supporting the charity.”
Sporting Wheelies is Queensland’s leading provider of inclusive sports, recreation and rehabilitation therapy, and a peak body for some Paralympic sports. Sporting Wheelies is committed to making active goals of all levels possible for people with a disability.
Through a range of statewide health and fitness programs for people of all ages, industry-leading rehabilitation, and science-based therapies, Sporting Wheelies provides the full spectrum of inclusive sporting opportunities for Queenslanders living with a disability.
ATech has an industry leading approach to diversity and inclusion, and genuinely supports unique circumstances including physical disability.
Ms Peterschlingmann’s human-experience focused approach to leadership and management has inspired larger organisations and the wider industry to think differently about what is possible.
ATech specialises in catering for high scalability, availability and security requirements, and has built and hosted websites and web apps for local organisations including Virgin Australia, Seqwater and Brisbane City Council.
To sponsor Ms Peterschlingmann, go to https://bit.ly/3OUbi9a.
To sponsor Ms McCann, go to https://buff.ly/44i5pbd.
Fundraising closes on 30 June 2023.