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How to be a disability inclusive sports club

A young boy with black hair, wearing blue jeans and blue t-shirt in a wheelchair laughs. A smiling woman in black pants and a pink t-shirt looks on. They are in a park with trees and there are people running in the background.

Did you know one in five Whittlesea residents identifies as having a disability or long-term physical or mental illness? 

That’s 15 per cent of our municipality’s population. 

In Victoria, there are more than a million people with a disability. 

And one of the biggest issues affecting people with disabilities is community inclusion, including the ability to participate in sport and physical activity. 

Inclusion is not something you say - it's something you do. And it’s so important. 

When you look at the statistics, you realise just how many people your sports club could be including, simply by making small adjustments and modifications. 

But where do you start? 

Our friends at AAA Play an organisation which connects people with a disability to sports and recreational opportunities in Victoria – have created a handy flyer which outlines some easy steps your club can take to be more inclusive. 

If you’re overwhelmed by both the volume and lack of information out therethis is a great place to start. 

Tips include: 

  1. Make the commitment within your club to be inclusive and welcoming to people with disabilities and define what being “inclusive” means for your club. It should be a top-down approach, so inclusion is embedded in your club. 
  2. Identify barriers to inclusion at your club and use the resources on AAA Play to upskill club members and volunteers, update policies and procedures, and complete an audit of your club. 
  3. Apply for grants. Once you’ve identified the actions that need to be taken within your club, look for funding opportunities. There is lots of help available for proactive clubs. Start at www.aaavic.org.au/grants 
  4. Contact AAA Play to access a free communications package, which will help you connect with people with disabilities. 

For the full flyer, visit https://www.aaavic.org.au/sites/default/files/InclusiveFlyer.pdf 

We also have support available to your club at the City of Whittlesea – contact our Inclusion and Participation Officer, Megan Harper, at megan.harper@whittlesea.vic.gov.au to find out how we can help you to be a more inclusive club.