Judging by the smiling faces of the students at Woodlinks State School, it is safe to say that the Sporting Wheelies program was an enormous success.
“The children were so excited to engage in the Aussie Hoops program delivered by Sporting Wheelies,” said teacher, Jazmine Stefanaras.
“We watched the Paralympic basketball team earlier in the week in preparation for the Sporting Schools session.”
Delivered in conjunction with Basketball Australia, Sporting Wheelies enables schools to experience new sports and learn about people with disability. The program encourages children to learn to play sport in a wheelchair, encouraging inclusion and accessibility for all students.
“We use the program as an opportunity to share information about local sporting programs children with disabilities can access,” noted Sporting Wheelies Project Administrator Robert Mitchell.
“Children really enjoy the challenge of using the wheelchair and discovering how it can be a piece of sporting equipment as well as a way for people to get around,” Robert said.
“Using the wheelchair was the most fun. I didn’t know how to use a wheelchair, but now I do!,” said student Salma.
We use the program as an opportunity to share information about local sporting programs children with disabilities can access.Sporting Wheelies Project Administrator Robert Mitchell
The program also introduces para-athletes (coaches) to the students. The athletes share their inspirational stories of resilience and the pathway to achieving sporting success.
“We normally do a Q&A at the end of the program, which allows our coaches to speak about their disability. The session provides a fantastic opportunity for students to ask questions in a safe space,” said Robert.
“The questions they ask are usually quite insightful and you can tell they are engaged in the program.” Jazmin said,
“The children loved the program. They were surprised at how fast the sport can be and how talented the athletes/coaches are.”
“Sessions like this are important because they help students understand and embrace people’s differences,” she said.
Learn more about the basketball programs delivered by Sporting Wheelies on the Sporting Schools website.