Seymour College students participating in Activate Inclusion Sports Day in Seymour on Thursday. ​

By Pam Kiriakidis

National Disability Insurance Scheme, NDIS, organisations, schools and sporting groups scored goals at Seymour Sport and Aquatic Centre for International Day of People with Disability on Thursday.

Disability Sports Australia, with the support of Mitchell Shire Council, Murrindindi Shire Council and Nexus Primary Health, delivered Activate Inclusion Sports Day for people to put on their running shoes and give sport a go.

Disability Sports Australia communications and events officer Max Reilly said the participants were connected to the activities that brought them closer to their peers.

“Everyone deserves a fair go, any trial, any activity, just everyone … I feel like we’ve all been impacted in some way from being active, and there’s so many benefits of just being part of the community where you belong,” he said.

“This is just a great way to show those programs are out there for people.”

Age groups from prep to adolescence were stationed at different sports with the support of the region’s sporting groups, including Mitchell Ranges Soccer Club, AFL Victoria Goulburn Murray Region, and Victorian Fisheries Authority.

Mitchell Ranges Soccer all abilities coach Paul Sirianni interacted with the different groups to learn how to kick goals.

Mr Sirianni, who often engages with people that identify with a disability, said the soccer activity was to remind the participants about their own capabilities.

“I think it’s very important for them to realise that, yes you can do to that, you can do this, there’s very little stopping you from achieving what you want to do,” he said.

He said more sporting groups should accommodate people with disabilities, creating their own abilities team like the squad he manages at Mitchell Ranges.

Seymour College inclusive education teacher Shelly Story said she saw the benefits of the event, watching the seniors and juniors apply themselves to sports that were familiar.

“We’ve got some seniors here that are quite capable and do sporting events, and have been to state competition, and we’ve got some of the students who are just trialling something new as an activity,” she said.

International Day of People with Disability is a national day on December 3, with organisations across Victoria arranging events to celebrate people of all abilities.

Nexus Primary Health diversity officer Wendy Kelly said the community needed to host more inclusive events besides the few that were provided for the area.

“It’s an opportunity to create inclusive sports for people with disabilities, there’s nothing up around Mitchell … so this is a great chance for people to come and try for the day,” she said.

Victorian Fisheries Authority showing participants different kinds of fish at Seymour Sport and Aquatic Centre, giving participants the opportunity to try activities and learn new skills. ​