Hundreds of kids in the Central West region living with a physical, sensory or intellectual disability were given the opportunity to try new sports at the Variety Activate Inclusion Sports Day at the Orange PCYC on Wednesday.
Over 150 students from 12 schools in Orange and others from Blayney, Cumnock and surrounds all made their way to Orange to the event, which was run by Sport NSW.
Sport NSW disability inclusion manager Murray Elbourn said it was a fantastic opportunity for students to get out and try new sports.
“They’re trying six sports with adaptions in the rules, and the idea is to create an inclusive environment where kids feel empowered to try sports and do physical activity,” he said.
“Only about 20 per cent of these kids are doing the required physical activity required in schools, because there’s not enough resources for teachers to be adaptive.”
The program runs in partnership with Variety, the Children’s Charity NSW/ACT and gives younger people with disabilities a free space to play at their own pace and had huge benefits.
Instead of going to Saturday netball and it might be a bit hard, this is just for them so they feel they’re up to the standard.Tara Nagle
“It puts that ability for kids to come forward and be taught int he right environment and just have a fun day and feel good about doing sport,” Elbourn said.
“Physically, it improving balance and fine motor skills but they’re also in groups today in rotation, and they last for 25 minutes each sport and they’ll learn skill acquisition, learning how to kick, pass balls, dance … [and] they’ll meet new friends and do things together as well.”
He said this was the first time the event had been run in Orange but was determined to come back, hoping to form a steering committee to “put more emphasis on inclusive activities in the region”.
After he first run with students from Anson Street School, Netball NSW development officer Tara Nagle said the day had been “really fun” with doing netball drills.
“I guess it’s most of the kids can run around and if not their carers are helping them but it’s getting them moving all the time and getting a little bit out of breath and tailoring the passing and types of balls using,” she said.
“I think it’s getting involved, there have been a few days like this this year, and I think they love being a part of a sport that – not that they wouldn’t usually be part of, but tailored to them.
“Instead of going to Saturday netball and it might be a bit hard, this is just for them so they feel they’re up to the standard.”
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