(3 December 2020) The Australian Sporting Alliance for People with a Disability (ASAPD) acknowledges International Day of People with a Disability (IDPwD) and supports its aim to promote greater understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of those with a disability, impairment or limitation. The Alliance brings together Australia’s nine (9) National Sporting Organisations for people with a disability, all of whom share a common purpose to improve the lives of Australians living with a disability using sport as the medium.
“Each member of the Alliance already has a strong foundation, a wealth of knowledge and experience that supports resources and programs that are delivered to sports, schools and recreation and fitness industries throughout Australia. This collaboration will add a new layer of empowerment and direction for the people they support,” said newly-appointed Alliance Chair, Robyn Smith (who is CEO of Sport Inclusion Australia).
Initiated in partnership with Sport Australia, the Alliance has already achieved significant success having lodged a joint submission to the National Disability Strategy to ensure that sport is included in the next 10-year plan. “We have already seen the power of the nine national organisations working together as a collective with the submission to the National Disability Strategy and the Alliance looks forward to continuing to work with Australian sport to build their capacity to be inclusive of all Australians,” said Alliance Vice Chair, Phil Harper (who is Deaf Sports Australia’s General Manager).
The Alliance has already established four key groups to take their work forward, including: Government and Advocacy; Shared Services and Collaboration; Participation and Pathways; and Research and Innovation. A new Project Manager will be employed in the new year to co-ordinate the work of these groups and to enhance the Alliance’s impact and shared resources and efficiencies. Alliance member John Croll (Chair of Disability Sport Australia) said it is apt that the theme for IDPwD 2020 is ‘Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World’.
“The role of sport in building community, social inclusion and connection has never been more important, particularly for people with a disability. A key initiative of the Alliance will be researching the economic and social value of sport and participation for all people with a disability,” he said.
Another Alliance member, Lynne Anderson (CEO of Paralympics Australia) said: “It is incredible to see how far this initiative has come and what it has achieved in such a short space of time in developing a strong and unified collective for the sector”.
The nine National Sporting Organisations for people with a disability who have formed the Alliance are:
•Blind Sports Australia
•Deaf Sports Australia
•Disability Sports Australia
•Disabled Winter Sports Australia
•Riding for the Disabled
•Special Olympics Australia
•Sport Inclusion Australia
For interviews contact: Alliance Chair, Robyn Smith on 0418 979 459