Please note: Images in this article were taken before current COVID-19 safety measures were in place.
Fun for all at the Disability Sport and Recreation Festival
[Vision: People in wheelchairs playing sport - Victorian Disability Sport & Recreation Festival - people playing ball in wheelchairs]
Brendan Stroud - Inclusion Officer, Collingwood Football Club
Sport has definitely saved my life.
After I had my accident I didn’t know where I was going to go to.
It certainly gives me self-confidence and self-worth.
Instead of sitting at home and playing maybe Xbox, getting out and doing something, movement creates energy and it creates positive energy.
[Vision: Disable Surfers Association Australia stand - lady speaking with man in wheelchair]
Chris Lacey - Victorian State Manager, Reclink Australia
Well, the Disability Sport and Rec Festival has been running for a number of years now.
And Reclink Australia has been involved since the beginning.
[Vision: Girl putting on blindfold to experience kicking ball blind]
We’re here along with all the other fantastic organisation providing accessible sport and recreation around Melbourne Victoria.
[Vision: Men tossing football through hole - young people watching sport - Guardians of the Flame group cheering]
What means the same for people of all abilities, that sense of social engagement, sense of inclusion and getting to be a part of something, the physical benefits, and what we’re seeing at the moment is a bit of a transformation throughout Sport and Rec Victoria where more and more opportunities are available to people of all abilities.
Ayden Shaw - Sport and Recreation Manager, Disability Sport and Recreation
A lot of these sports today are actually fully inclusive so people with disability and without disability can play.
[Vision: people in wheelchairs competing in sport - people in wheelchairs playing football]
But it’s really about social participation and I guess helping people see that there is no difference with people with disability participating in sport, and it can be a blind sport, it could be deaf sport, it doesn’t matter, it’s just sport.
The Wheelchair AFL came on board probably four and a half years ago.
We had the Nationals come on first.
So we started off with seven players, now we have 50 players playing for Collingwood, Hawthorn, Essendon, Richmond, St Kilda.
[Vision: Brendan Stroud speaking]
And we have about 90 people registered to play all together, so it’s grown really, really, really fast.
Jordan Membry - Collingwood Footballer
[Vision: Jordan signing football]
Yeah, disability and wheelchair resonates with me quite well as my grandma is an incomplete paraplegic, so she’s been basically in a wheelchair since she was 19.
[Vision: Lady in wheelchair throwing ball]
She inspires me a lot to get involved in things like this.
[Vision: Wheelchair players playing football - view of guide dog and lady - man punching football]
What we’re seeing today is the culmination of a lot of investment that Sport and Rec Victoria has committed to, assisting the sports to think more about how to make what they run more accessible.
[Vision: People milling around and man riding bike]
And that’s why I think a big part of why we’re seeing the momentum that we’re seeing, with more and more options available to people with a disability.
[The Victorian Connection - people, communities & the economy. For more news and stories go to connection.vic.gov.au]
[Victoria State Government / Jobs, Precincts and Regions. Authorised by the Victorian Government, Melbourne]
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