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While 64% of Australians enjoy regular sport, this is the case for only 23% of people with a disability. All Kids Can Play will bridge the barrier enabling and encouraging clubs to include children with disabilities.
Two organisations have come together to launch this campaign – Break Thru People Solutions and Touched by Olivia. The idea was seeded in the mind of Break Thru People Solutions Managing Director, Ross Lewis.
“It would be so much easier for us to find employment opportunities for people with disability if we could break down the prejudices that develop at a young age. From Break Thru’s perspective, it’s our investment in inclusion. It made sense that our friends at Touched by Olivia work with us on All Kids Can Play. It’s their core work to make sure that all kids really can play,” Ross commented.
Break Thru ran a national survey and had over 800 responses. This data was reviewed by internationally renowned academic, Professor Simon Darcy, UTS Business School, who presented his findings at Parliament House to an audience that includes the Hon. John Ajaka MLC, NSW Minister for Disability.
“It just makes sense, inclusion in sports is not always about being in the winning team, but about nurturing the passion and social connections that come from playing sports. We should make like Nike and Just do it”, said Professor Darcy.
The response from families involved has been overwhelming.
“We are a a bit sports mad in our house and love to watch and play all kinds of sports. Our eldest child, Alex, has cerebral palsy which means we need to think creatively to include him in our passion. Bocce is a family favourite,” said Brendon Coombes.
“We’d love to know that their was information that could help our local club include Alex in the future”.
Some of the benefits of participation included:
• “The confidence and friendship sport has offered me is amazing”
• “Playing a mainstream sport makes me happy.”
• “Participation … Provides confidence and and self-esteem.”
Parents had many stories to share about barriers experienced when attempting inclusion in mainstream sports:
• “As a parent it can be hard to know what clubs offer and if they are willing to teach children with a disability.”
• “I have had no success in getting my child to try mainstream sport.”
• “My daughter becomes discouraged by not getting the ball, so it is actually bad for her self-esteem.”
The public launch of All Kids Can Play will be held to co-incide with International Day of People With Disability. All Kids Can Play Day is on 7 December from 10-2pm at Livvi’s Place, Five Dock in NSW.
A trailer video can be found here: http://vimeo.com/109533840