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Embracing a New Year of Inclusive Sports

It’s remarkable how quickly we’ve progressed into 2024! However, this moment marks the perfect opportunity to explore new possibilities and embrace the joy of inclusive sports. 

Here at the Australian Sporting Alliance for People with a Disability (ASAPD), we actively collaborate, advocate, and facilitate inclusive sports and physical activities for individuals with disability, impairments, or limitations. Our mission is centred on creating empowering pathways for individuals to engage in sports and physical activities within a welcoming and inclusive environment. We firmly believe that the journey of health, well-being, and inclusivity through sports is anything but mundane; it’s an exploration of the boundless possibilities that lie ahead.

Before we get into all the details, let’s take a moment to appreciate the profound impact of sports on health and well-being. Research consistently highlights that engagement in sports not only enhances physical fitness but also nurtures mental well-being, creating a sense of community and belonging. In the arena of disability sports, these benefits are magnified, offering a unique avenue for individuals to thrive.

Here at ASAPD, we’ve fostered collaborations with several National Sporting Organisations for People with Disability, all united by the belief that sport is truly for everyone. If you’re eager to be a part of this journey, take a closer look at our partners below and explore the opportunities they offer. 

Blind Sports Australia: Blind Sports Australia (BSA) stands as a national sporting organisation dedicated to blind and vision-impaired sports. From grassroots community participation to elite competitions at national and international levels, BSA is committed to creating pathways and opportunities for individuals who are blind or have low vision. As a not-for-profit organisation and a founding member of Paralympics Australia, BSA advocates for the blind community, promotes social inclusion, and encourages a sustainable, healthy lifestyle through blind sports. Explore blind sports opportunities at Blind Sports Australia.

Deaf Sports Australia: Deaf Sports Australia (DSA) serves as the national peak body, offering advice, services, and support for athletes who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. Through active deaf programs and government initiatives, DSA aims to foster community engagement and inclusivity. The organisation collaborates with various entities, including governments, businesses, and sporting bodies, to create a network supporting deaf and mainstream sports. Learn more about DSA’s programs at Deaf Sports Australia.

Disability Sports Australia: Disability Sports Australia (DSA) is dedicated to improving lives through sports. With initiatives such as the popular Abilities Unleashed program for both Kids and Adults, Sports Incubator, and Accessibility Champion Certification, DSA connects individuals with disabilities to local active and adaptive opportunities. Discover more at Disability Sports Australia.

Disabled Wintersport Australia: Disabled Wintersport Australia (DWA) serves as the National Sporting Organisation responsible for adaptive winter sports in Australia. Operating across major snow resorts in New South Wales and Victoria, DWA collaborates closely with resort management teams to deliver positive experiences for members. From recreational skiers to Winter Paralympians, DWA’s programs cater to a diverse range of winter sports enthusiasts. Explore snowy adventures with DWA here.

Riding for the Disabled Australia: Riding for the Disabled Australia (RDA) is recognised by Sport Australia as the peak body for equestrian sport for people with disability. RDA’s programs cater to participants with a wide range of intellectual and physical disabilities, starting from the age of three. To explore equestrian opportunities with RDA, visit Riding for the Disabled Australia.

Special Olympics Australia: Special Olympics Australia, established in 1976, has been a key player in providing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disability. With 7,000 participants across 18 sports and 45 clubs, Special Olympics Australia aims to open doors to personal achievement, pride, and inclusion. Explore opportunities at a club near you via Special Olympics Australia.

Sport Inclusion Australia: Sport Inclusion Australia, formerly AUSRAPID, was established in 1986 to facilitate the inclusion of people with intellectual impairments into the mainstream community through sports. With a focus on ability and social inclusion principles, Sport Inclusion Australia processes eligibility applications for athletes with intellectual impairments. Explore their initiatives and eligibility criteria here.

Transplant Australia: Transplant Australia is a charitable organisation supporting transplant recipients and their families, people on waiting lists, donor families, living donors, and healthcare professionals. Through programs like the Australian Transplant Games and Fit for Life, Transplant Australia encourages physical activity to increase survival rates in transplant recipients. The organisation also runs awareness activities and public campaigns to inspire organ donation. Learn more about Transplant Australia’s impactful work here.

The options are endless to become an active part of Australia’s sporting landscape. Whether you’re intrigued by the slopes, wanting to embrace equestrian adventures, or seeking opportunities for personal achievements – there’s a welcoming space for everyone.

We encourage you to explore the diverse offerings of our partners. Join us in fostering inclusivity, discovering your own capabilities, and making active living a part of your lifestyle. Together we can all contribute to a culture where everyone, regardless of ability, can thrive in the world of sports.