Sport for All Abilities Breakfast - Wrap

The coffee was brewing, conversations were firing, crowds were milling... and it wasn't even 8am!

The perfect start to a morning of discussion on how the Victorian sporting community can grow, develop and welcome people with disabilities by connecting them to local sporting opportunities.

The backstory: over one million people in Victoria have a disability, and 58% of people with a disability are active through sport and recreation. Operated by Reclink Australia, organisations like Access for All Abilities Play (commonly known as AAA Play) give people with disabilities an opportunity to participate in sport and active recreation in their local area.

One of Vicsport’s strategic priorities is more inclusive sport – we want to see every person provided a range of opportunities to participate in sport and recreation and lead an active lifestyle. AAA Play links directly to State Sport Associations, Regional Sports Assemblies, clubs, leagues and associations in Victoria.

The breakfast this morning sold out within days of promotion. This gives us reason to believe that enhancing inclusion practices across the sporting landscape as a whole is high on everybody's agenda. Sporting organisations are asking the question "What can we do to broaden our reach in the community and cater for people with disabilities?". A question that once had very little to answer for, now has the likes of AAA Play as a first point of call service.

L-R: Vicsport Participation Strategy Manager Tom Dixon, State Manager, National Disability Services David Moody, panel discussion on how inclusion practices can be improved in the sporting community to welcome people with disabilities.

A panel featuring industry professionals discussed how sports are changing their ways to cater for people with disabilities;

David Moody, Victorian State Manager, National Disability Services stated:

"We are moving forward as a state to give people with disabilities more opportunities to play sport thanks to the existence of organisations like AAA Play."

Danielle Lowerson, Inclusion Project lead at Tennis Victoria

"Our Tennis Hotshots program is an example of how Tennis Australia are taking steps to prepare our staff and coaches to understand the needs of people with disabilities."

Chris Lacey, State Manager, Reclink Australia referred to the need for ongoing research to be done in order to understand how people with disabilities are involved in sport and the benefits they receiving.

5-year-old Sonny Rennison sums up his take on why people need to play sport:

Want to learn more about AAA Play? Watch the video below:

If your sport has opportunities for people with a disability to participate – and we're sure you do – contact AAA play today to make sure your organisation makes use of this valuable, free service for promoting sporting opportunities.

Jasmine Richwol

Communications and Marketing Manager, Vicsport

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