I hope you are all safe and well as I welcome you to the first edition of Vortex for the year as 2022 starts to take shape with us moving closer to the active and healthy lives that we all aspire to.
It’s been wonderful to see many programs and services of DSR emerging from recent restrictions so we get to see many happy smiling faces of people enjoying being active and the general community learning more about disability issues.
In recent weeks we’ve been out and about in partnership with SOLVE Disability Solutions with a number of sport activation days across Victoria and have also finalised the last feature production of the wonderful “Show us You Can Play’ video series of stories exploring what’s possible for people with disability in sport and recreation.
Planning is well under way for our first kids recreation camp of the year at Camp Manyung this weekend while we are also hosting the first event of the brand new Wheelchair Rugby National Series on Feb 25-27 at the impressive new Cobblebank Stadium while our popular Wheeltalk schools disability and inclusion awareness program is once again taking bookings.
The Victorian Government’s Get Active Kid’s Voucher Scheme has been a huge success supporting many kids with disability to get involved with sport and recreation. We’ve supported the development of this program and recognise there have been some teething issues but are encouraged by the new processes coming soon which will make it even easier for more to get involved.
Congratulations to Kirra Wright, our Marg Angel Junior Sportperson of the Year winner in 2021, who has gone from strength to strength recently winning 4 gold medals (long jump, shot put, 100m, 200m) at the Little Athletics Regional competition. We also wish Kirra all the best as she competes in upcoming State Track & Field Championships this month to qualify for Nationals in Sydney later in the year. We encourage our DSR community to get behind Kirra and support her fundraising campaign to get to Sydney by clicking here.
Check out the highlight reel from last year’s awards by clicking here, while keeping note that planning for this year’s awards (recognising achievements in 2021 including the Tokyo Paralympics) are now set for Tuesday 8 November, once again at PwC Southbank with calls for nominations coming soon.
Despite these wonderful stories of returns to involvement in sport, we also understand that there is still hesitancy to return to some activities due to the status of COVID-19 in Victoria. Therefore, we have been pleased to have been supported by the Victorian Government in a new program to increase understanding and knowledge in the community, particularly amongst the youth, around these issues. Look out in coming months for initiatives from this program.
In addition, we’re also pleased to have been provided with a number of Rapid Antigen Tests to distribute to our members and the broader disability sport and recreation sector to assist their returns to community life with distributions starting this week.
You may have also noticed our website going through a number of improvements including a new accessibility widget located in the top right of the front page to make the page easier to navigate for many of our members.
Massive congratulations to DSR member and previous multiple award winner Dylan Alcott who signed off on a stellar career in disability sport finishing runner up in the Australian Open, just after being named winner of the Australian of the Year. DSR is proud to have been part of Dylan’s journey of discovering a life of sport and wish him well in his upcoming year of advocacy that will also support DSR’s broader vision and objectives.
While congratulations are in order, well done to our partners YMCA Victoria for taking out the Innovative Program of the Year at the recent Aquatic and Recreation Victoria Awards for their ‘Virtual Y’ program. DSR was involved with this program and looks forward to further collaboration with the Y over the coming year.
Finally, it’s been very exciting to see the new DSR home at the re-developed 341 George St Fitzroy location taking shape with completion now due in the middle of 2022. The plans feature a revitalised office for the DSR team but will also include a wonderful training and education facility for the whole sector to continue the important work required in educating the community around disability issues so that choice, access and participation can become easier. We’re also inviting organisations to join us at our new home with 4 office spaces of various sizes now available to lease in the new building. Expressions of Interest are currently being sought so please get in touch.
Yours in good health,
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