Spotlight On: West Rise

Spotlight On: West Rise

The West Rise Basketball competition is run by the Kalamunda and Districts Basketball Association and played at the Ray Owen Sports Centre in Lesmurdie. The competition is for people with an intellectual disability and is the first of its kind in Western Australia.

The West Rise Basketball competition was started in early February 2011 by highly dedicated coach and teacher, Chris Saligari.

It proved so successful that by late 2012 the league had grown to incorporate 8 teams competing over two divisions. This allowed for more specialised coaching and enabled two of these teams to compete in the mainstream Men’s C-Grade division.

The West Rise competition currently brings together over 60 people with an intellectual disability. Through sport, West Rise encourages skill development and promotes teamwork, commitment and confidence among young athletes.

The competition offers fantastic pathways into the mainstream competition and players are also encouraged to coach junior players, referee and assist with the operation of the club.

The mainstream 2012 competition wrapped up in July and it was fantastic to see that two of the Grand Final winning teams had West Rise players in them.

West Side had 4 players from West Rise and 3 mainstream players playing and they won C-Mens by 1 point!

Bendigo had 5 mainstream players and 2 players from West Rise playing and also won their Grand Final, by 8 points.

Much of the program’s success can be put down to Chris. As well as founding the program and teaching at Kalamunda High School, Chris is also the coach for the female Ivor Burge (State basketball team for people with disabilities) and has this year been heavily involved with Basketball WA and the Everyone’s Game Carnivals. Chris is very efficient and is extremely passionate about offering people with disabilities an opportunity to belong to the club.

MP Ken Wyatt spoke very highly of Chris and the competition in an address to the House of Representatives last year:

“Chris works in the highly regarded Kalamunda Ed Support centre and saw first hand the benefits of sport for the intellectually impaired. Despite having no children of her own with a disability Chris took time to start this competition and is ably assisted by her son and coach, Michael.....I thank Chris for her commitment to helping others and for starting such a wonderful competition.”

We would like to thank Chris and everyone involved in the West Rise competition for their hard work and dedication to the creation and promotion of an inclusive, welcoming sporting club.

If you want more info or want to get involved, please contact Chris Saligari on 0439 936 536 or 9293 2106.

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