1974, Dunedin


The Commonwealth Paraplegic Games in Dunedin were the final Commonwealth Paraplegic Games. This was unknown at the time, however, with little to indicate at the closing ceremony that this would be the last Games. Issues contributing to the closure of the Games included finances and other problems associated with long-distance travel. As a replacement competition, the FESPIC (Far East and South Pacific Games for the Disabled Congress) Games were created by officials from Asia, Australia and the Pacific, and began in Japan in 1975.


Unique/ Special Features

The organising committee took accessibility issues into consideration and had several buses converted to be wheelchair-friendly in order to transport athletes to and from the athletic venues. Sir Ludwig Guttmann was in attendance at the Games, and conducted medical examinations on the athletes in order to ensure they were correctly classified. The Dunedin Games were Bill Mather-Brown’s last international competition. Mather-Brown had a lengthy international career lasting almost two decades, having competed in the first Australian team at Stoke Mandeville in 1957. He continued to be involved in disability sport in other capacities and was later awarded the Australian Sports Medal (2000) and a Centenary Medal (2001) for his contributions.


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