Men of League lend hand – George Sami is finding travel easier with his new wheelchair lift

FORMER Kilkivan player George Sami is finding travel a lot easier with the new wheelchair lift installed in his vehicle thanks to Gympie Men of League. Mr Sami played with the reserve grade Kilkivan side in 1969 and later, in the mid to late 80s, was a part of the Suburbs rugby league club. At Suburbs he was a member on the finance committee and also managed the under17s team.

MEN OF LEAGUE: George Sami with Men of League representatives Doug Sutton, Greg Poutney and Ross Groundwater.


From 1987 until about 1990 Mr Sami was the grounds announcer at Albert Park. The now 70- year- old has been bound to a wheelchair for the past two years after he fell through the roof at home while cleaning the gutters and fractured his spine. In the last six weeks Mr Sami has become more mobile with the installation of a vehicle transfer hoist in the back of his car which the Men of League were able to organise for him. The organisation found out about his situation through one of his good friends, Doug Sutton, who is a member of the Gympie league.

After Gympie Men of League secretary Greg Pountney met with Mr Sami, the league decided to liaise with Ben Ross a former Australian rugby league player from Sydney Men of League to help out. Mr Pountney said Mr Ross, who had broken his neck and returned to play NRL, was a bit empathetic towards people with injury and was happy to help.

Mr Sami said he was still working out the kinks and had given his new contraption a trial during the week.

“It is going to be a big help once I master it.” Mr Sami was very appreciative of his gift. – George Sami

“It was something I never thought would happen,” he said.

The former Gympie High student said it had been frustrating over the years as maxi taxis had been the only form of transport that catered to his needs and were not always available when he needed them. He said for the time being the service was helpful but was beginning to cost a bit of money when he was travelling so often. Gympie Men of League president Ross Groundwater said that was what the Men of League was all about – helping people.

“We thought we could help him (Mr Sami) out so he could be more independent.”

Although the organisation went to further lengths to help Mr Sami the Men of League also cater for smaller needs such as welfare visits.


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