Over four million people in Australia live with some form of disability; that’s one in six people. However, when you compare these figures to those within the coaching landscape numbers dramatically drop and that’s something netball is looking to change.
Netball NSW have provided support to St Finbars Netball Club and the Blue Mountains Netball Association who were successful in their application for an Australian Sports Foundation Giving4Grassroots 2017 grant.
Maria Cummins has been instrumental in leading the disability coaching program, believing it gives players new challenges, skills and opportunities to be active contributors to their netball community.
“The motivation behind this project started at last year’s All Abilities Gala Day – the Marie Little OAM Shield team members actively led warm-ups, distributed team patches and generally mentored and encouraged the other players with great role modelling,” Cummins said.
She stated as players move away from the safe routines and identity of being school students, new pathways and challenges need to be explored. Interested and motivated players with disabilities have untapped talents to add official roles to their playing credentials.
“Holding coaching courses such as this in our community supports families’ goals to see their young people’s independence grow as they develop meaningful interests within sports they enjoy.
“Participants in the practical coaching sessions take away confidence in their ability to be assistant coaches and future mentors, new practical skills and drills that they learn from the presenter as well as from their fellow learners”.
Netball NSW is committed to providing equal opportunities to players, coaches, umpires and officials of all abilities. Netball NSW will continue to work with Associations to become more inclusive over the coming years, supporting links with community organisations, disability support groups and identifying useful resources.
For more information on Netball NSW’s All Abilities programs, workshops and events, please visit our Community Engagement page or contact Laura Abrahams, Inclusion and Diveristy Coordinator, on (02) 9951 5000 during business hours or email [email protected].