Over 70 children, adults and family members supported by Gateways took part in the Geelong Cats ‘All Abilities’ footy clinic on Friday. The event was an opportunity for people with a disability to get out on the ground at GMHBA Stadium and enjoy the training session with the players, get to know their sporting idols and practice their footy drills.
But the clinic also provided much more! It created an environment where people of all abilities, with or without disability, siblings, family members and friends could enjoy a unique sporting experience together.
The Cats have been long-time supporters of Gateways, helping to promote understanding and inclusion of people with a disability. Gateways ambassador, Cats player Harry Taylor was an apology on the day, but his team mates did a sensational job of getting to know participants and adapting the program and activities to work for all abilities.
Gateways CEO, Rosemary Malone said “the Geelong Cats are to be congratulated on, once again, providing an event in which everyone can take part.
It is wonderful to witness a growing awareness of disability and a move to greater inclusiveness in mainstream events and activities. Our sporting organisations play an important leadership role in this area.
On a larger scale, the recent integration of Paralympic sports into the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games is another fantastic example of inclusion and how attitudes are changing.”
Gateways received lots of positive feedback from families who attended the Cats All Abilities Clinic. Following the event one family was delighted by a surprise visit by star players Tom Hawkins and Tom Stewart who made time to attend their younger son’s first ever footy game on Saturday.