Inclusive sports igniting passions
A FREE inclusive community sports day last week saw forty people of all abilities getting active and having a go at new games.
Leisure therapist Tim Marchinton said Solve Disability Solutions run the events at the Ballarat Badminton Stadium every school holidays, and offered seven different sports this time.
Archery, curling, badminton, pickleball, wheelchair rugby and AFL, and “freedom-wheel” cycling were all on the tasting menu.
“The main purpose is to bring awareness to the sporting possibilities that exist in each regional hub for individuals living with disability,” he said.
“We bring together local sporting clubs and work together with the individual and club, so sports are more inclusive and accessible.
“For example, Dusty from the Wendouree Archery Club came along with equipment, giving people the chance to hit that bullseye and have a great experience.
“It’s a great day for us to introduce people to inclusive sporting clubs keen to welcome new members who may have a disability.
“We want to enable and empower people living with a disability to pick a sport of their own choosing and ignite a passion.”
Mr Marchinton said groups like Solve build unique devices to assist people with their movement so they can enjoy the effects of sport which are not only physical, but social, and positive for mental health.
“Being part of a club, feeling like you belong somewhere, trying something new and getting better at it are all really good for people’s self-esteem, confidence and their sense of feeling congruent with who they are,” he said.
“We’ve had parents come back and say the inclusive community sports day is the thing their children most look forward to during the school holidays. We would love to see more people coming along.”
The next event will be held on Wednesday, 20 April.