In February 2023, Water Polo Australia (WPA) and the Australian Sporting Alliance for People with a Disability (ASAPD) initiated a strategic partnership, setting the stage for a unified approach to enhance sport inclusion for individuals with disability, impairment, or limitation. This partnership aimed to tap into the collective knowledge of ASAPD, offering invaluable insights to WPA as it embarked on the process of creating its inaugural Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (IDE) strategy.
Holly Tyrrell, WPA’s General Manager of Strategy, played an instrumental role in the formation of this partnership. She highlighted, “It has been as exciting opportunity to pilot a collaborative partnership between an NSO like water polo and ASAPD, offering the advantage of the collective voice representing all NSOD’s.”
The partnership provided a host of mutual benefits, including:
- ASAPD representation on the WPA IDE Steering Panel, contributing expertise on disability-specific matters and WPA’s holistic approach to inclusion and intersectionality.
- ASAPD advocating the services of its member organisations, guiding WPA in identifying specific NSODs for targeted initiatives.
- Both organisations collaborated to provide practical advice and develop initiatives, ensuring that a disability perspective was ingrained across all WPA’s activities.
- ASAPD endorsement of the WPA finalised strategy, underscoring its commitment to the initiative.
John Croll, Chair of ASAPD, emphasised the importance of this partnership, stating, “This collaboration is a prime example of why the ASAPD exists; to help all sporting organisations across the country become more aware, and more prepared to support people with disability in their sport and clubs. We aim to foster a movement of ‘all sports and all disabilities’, and like WPA, we encourage everyone to embrace and nurture this essential culture within their organisations.”
The partnership with ASAPD provided WPA with a direct channel, ensuring that it had the best representation, not just from a single disability organisation, but from a collective voice representing a diverse range of disabilities and limitations. As a result, WPA was well equipped to address internal barriers and pave the way for a more inclusive and safe environment, welcoming individuals with disabilities, impairments, and limitations to participate in water polo.
Miranda Frisken, General Manager of Sport Development at WPA, expressed, “We are thrilled to continue developing our partnership with ASAPD as we work hand-in-hand to support the growth of water polo by enhancing our ability to cater for disability communities engaging with our sport.” Miranda Frisken, General Manager – Sport Development, WPA.
To explore how ASAPD can support your Sporting Organisation across all areas of disability sport, inclusion, and community engagement, visit www.asapd.org