Sports Day Promotes Inclusive Communities
John XXIII College went sports mad on Friday 4 May, as the inaugural Inclusion Sports Day kicked off.
The Inclusion Sports Day allowed over 100 students of all abilities from Associated and Catholic Colleges (ACC) schools, including those living with disabilities, to try a range of sports to promote healthy lifestyles and inclusiveness in the community.
Free coaching for students of all skill levels was conducted by coaches from WA State sporting bodies.
“There were over 100 students in attendance from a range of ACC schools from across the Perth metropolitan region- from Joondalup to as far south as Mandurah. Participants were offered a range of sports, all run by State Sporting Associations (SSAs) and aimed at increasing the amount of participating in grass roots competition. Students and teachers alike were unperturbed by the weather and proceeded to have a ball engaging with other students, teachers and volunteers," Denver D’Cruz, Inclusion WA Sport and Community Development Manager said.
The Inclusive Sports Day aimed to empower the students living with disabilities to recognise their own potential, and also to encourage all students to be more inclusive of all people in their community.
“We hope to raise awareness of the inclusive sports offered in WA; but most importantly we aim to send a strong, clear and positive message to individuals who are disadvantaged, living with a disability or otherwise disconnected from the community, that they too can have the benefit and enjoyment of sport.” Mr D’Cruz said.
Inclusion WA is committed to ensuring people with disabilities can access opportunities to participate in sport and recreation activities within mainstream settings.
The carnival is part of a pathway for children to compete in mainstream clubs and for some to go further and compete in elite level competition, representing WA and Australia in their chosen sport.
All sports chosen have had to meet strict criteria and need to offer ongoing opportunities for these kids to be able to stay involved in the sport, should they wish to do so.
The ACC conducts a series of carnivals to provide students the opportunity to further develop their skills whilst representing their school in a variety of sports.
“Children living with a disability have traditionally been isolated and marginalised at all levels of the community. Initiatives such as this one are an exciting step toward achieving social inclusion and we look forward to partnering with Inclusion WA and seeing these events grow in Western Australia,” Gina-Cassey Grayson, ACC Sports Administration Officer said.
Inclusion WA would like to thank Gina Graysson-Cassey (ACC) along with John XXIII College for the organisation of schools and facilities, as well as the volunteers that helped out on the day and the representatives from the following State Sporting Associations – WACA, WAFC, NETBALL WA, TOUCH WEST and ATHLETICS WA.
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