Koen Jansens

Gold and silver medal-winning Paralympian, Koen Jansens was born with spina bifida, but has refused to let his condition dictate his lifestyle.

“Like most youngsters, I was obsessed with football and it was difficult not being able to run around with my mates,” he said. “I found an outlet in wheelchair basketball, and playing it at an elite level has taken me to places I never thought I’d go.”

Koen was a member of the Dutch men’s wheelchair basketball national squad, competing at four Paralympic Games from 1992 to 2004, including Barcelona, Spain (1992 – gold); Atlanta, USA (1996); Sydney, Australia (2000 – silver); and Athens, Greece (2004).

He is married to Manly-born Australian Paralympian Donna Ritchie, who was part of the silver medal-winning Australian women’s wheelchair basketball team at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics. They have a son and a daughter. Koen retired from international basketball about 15 years ago to shift focus on a corporate career in Software Sales building and leading sales teams across the Asia Pacific region.

Koen is currently a board member of WBA (Wheelchair Basketball Australia), which is a newly created company responsible for running the National Men’s and Women’s Leagues, as well as the President of the Manly Wheel Eagles Basketball Team and an inspiration to many young and aspiring players.

“You can look at life two ways: you can get upset with the cards you are dealt or you can go out and live life to the fullest.

We chose the latter and couldn’t be happier, we have two wonderful children and busy lives.
I am so excited by the work that the Sargood Foundation is doing to help others with spinal cord injury to get the most out of life, it really resonates with my own personal philosophy and I look forward to working with the Foundation to create new futures and opportunities for those living with SCI.”

Don Ferguson – Joint Chair

Don has over 25 years of experience across personal injury and disability in government, non-government and private sectors, including as a Director of MS Limited and leading the Lifetime Care and Support Authority of NSW. Currently CEO of EML Management, Don’s priority focus is about helping people to get back to work and life after their injury.

Sheree Hurley

Sheree was a great friend of Sargood on Collaroy. In the early days of development, Sheree was instrumental in giving practical advice and encouragement to the team and mapped out all the equipment needs for Sargood on Collaroy, with a specific view to accessibility and a desire to best cater for the needs of those living with an SCI. Sheree’s wonderful support and her motivated and proactive nature are recognised by the Sargood Foundation with the Sheree Hurley Staff Award for the team member who has shown outstanding work in their sincerity of care, and service to our guests.

Colin Apps

Colin was a local Northern Beaches resident who lived with Spinal Cord Injury and had served as Director of SCIA. Col understood the need for Sargood on Collaroy and its significance for the SCI community & was relentless in his determination to assist its evolution and development. Colin understood the importance and therapeutic benefits associated with such a unique site. His wife Robin remains one of our most proud supporters and a passionate advocate for Sargood on Collaroy.

John Mullins OAM

John was a long standing member of Long Reef Golf Club in many roles, including that of President. He was instrumental in involving Long Reef Golf Club with the successful development of Sargood on Collaroy and his legacy continues with the ongoing support of our friends and close neighbours at one of Australia’s best loved golf course who consistently and generously donate to fund much needed stays through the Sargood Foundation.

Sam and Jenny Bailey

Sam Bailey is a beef cattle farmer, ultralight pilot, husband, professional public speaker and best-selling author. He has achieved all of those from a wheelchair following a C6/C7 spinal cord injury at the age of 19.

From a childhood growing up in the Australian bush to a car accident in the outback that turned his life upside down and its aftermath, his story epitomises the great Australian spirit of ‘having a go’.

He has used that spirit to beat the odds to fulfill his life-long dream to be a farmer, learning to ride a four-wheel bike; devising a hoist to get into farm machinery and ultimately learning to fly an ultralight.

Sam then found his soul mate in former Tamworth-based ABC radio Rural Reporter, Jenny Black – who he proposed to “live” on regional radio. They went on to appear on ABC TV’s “Australian Story”, become public speakers and co-write their best seller “Head Over Heels”.

Today they live and work together on their beef cattle property in North West NSW, in between traveling the country telling their story and giving inspiration to others. Sam is also working towards becoming the first quadriplegic in the world to fly a helicopter.

They are thrilled to become Ambassadors for the Sargood Foundation and can’t wait to support our work to make a positive and lasting difference to people who suffer traumatic spinal cord injuries and their families.

“I’ll never forget how terrified I was when I first came home from the spinal unit. It’s the mental anguish you’re not prepared for. I was no longer ‘Sam the Gladiator’. It was a massive readjustment, not just for me but for the whole family.

“I wonder how things would have been different for me and my parents if Sargood was around back then….a place that breaks the ice where everyone can relax and reconnect. Thank goodness it is here now.

“I take my hat off to the people who are making Sargood happen and Jenny and I are very proud to be doing what we can to help.”

General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK AC (Mil) CVO MC (Retd)

As a long term supporter of those who live with disabilities, I am passionately supportive of the vision of the Sargood Foundation which states that all people affected by spinal cord injury are provided with every opportunity to live life to the fullest.

Almost every day in Australia, another person suffers a spinal cord injury. The effects are absolutely devastating, robbing people of their independence and often shattering their self belief.

The Sargood Foundation has been instrumental in the creation and development of Sargood on Collaroy which is the world-first, purpose-built resort for people living with spinal cord injury. This beautiful resort on Sydney’s Northern Beaches provides guests, their families and/or attendant care workers with much needed respite, refreshment and relaxation. At Sargood on Collaroy, the objective is to promote genuine independence and integration in the lives of guests, who all live with spinal cord injury.

The Sargood Foundation, of which I am proud to be Patron, is a DGR registered charity whose key focus is to raise funds to support the work of Sargood on Collaroy and those guests who are unable to fund their own experience of this wonderful place.

I look forward to connecting with the community of those who are living with spinal cord injury and seeing how Sargood builds confidence, optimism and a realization of what is possible for those living with SCI.

General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK AC (Mil) CVO MC (Retd)

Grant Mizens OAM

In his final year of high school Grant was involved in a car accident, resulting in paraplegia from the waist down. He is an experienced investment professional managing institutional portfolios for one of Australia’s largest wealth firms. Grant represented Australia at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Paralympics Games, winning Paralympic gold in 2008. In 2020 Grant was appointed to the Paralympics Australia’s Board of Directors. Grant is passionate about encouraging people with a spinal cord injury to aim high in life.

Brad Hazzard MP

Sargood Foundation’s Collaroy facilities were born of community enthusiasm to do more for the people with spinal injuries. It will be an incredible place of hope for a better future.

Jason Falinski MP

Sargood represents the best of what we can achieve here on the northern beaches. A world first, a health and wellness resort purpose built for people with a spinal cord injury, built by the community, for the community. The vision of the Sargood Foundation to improve the lives of people living with spinal injuries through innovative solutions delivered in the most remarkable natural setting shows why community lead solutions always deliver the best outcomes.