Wow, what a big month for DSR.
Instead of gently easing into the end of the year, we’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows since our last newsletter.
To mention a few highlights, last week’s Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards was an incredible gathering at PwC Southbank to celebrate excellence and achievement in our sector. Thank you to our many sponsors and supporters that made the event possible. It was wonderful to connect in person, while also recognising and paying tribute to the life of our co-founder Bruno Moretti who passed away recently. It was a pleasure to recognise some outstanding achievements while also hearing from our other co-founder, Kevin Coombs, as he expanded on his life and career including starting the organisation that became DSR with Bruno nearly 60 years ago. Our own Akii Ngo from the Phoenix Project also provided a powerful keynote speech.
It’s been pleasing to gather some wonderful media coverage for the awards including a spot on ABC Breakfast TV for Kirra Wright, winner of the Marg Angel Junior Athlete of the Year and ABC Radio with Jacinta Parsons talking with Kaye Speed from Blind Sports and Recreation Victoria who was bestowed with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Sadly, we also lost a disability sport pioneer with the passing of wheelchair football legend and DSR Wheeltalk presenter, Brendan Stroud, only hours before his beloved Collingwood Football team was due to compete in the Victorian Wheelchair Football League Grand Final v Essendon at Boroondara Sports Complex. Despite the emotional turmoil, Collingwood held on for a memorable victory in a close game in front of a packed crowd to claim their 2nd premiership that Brendan would have been incredibly proud of. Thank you so much BJ for all you achieved to support disability sport and the education of the broader community in raising awareness, you will be sadly missed.
For those who wish to pay their respects, Brendan’s funeral will be on Tuesday, 7 December at 10.30 AM at the Glasshouse Event Centre, Olympic Park, next to Collingwood’s training and administration centre.
Yesterday we were thrilled to host a briefing of our Phoenix Project with the Hon Ros Spence, Minister for Community Sport and the Hon Jaala Pulford, Minister for Employment as part of the Victorian Government’s Working For Victoria program. The project is already achieving significant outcomes with a Disability Sport and Recreation Organisations Alliance and Disability Advisory Committee being established and we look forward to further outcomes over the coming months.
Our building project is gathering momentum with works now well underway for our return to a redeveloped Kevin Coombs House in George St Fitzroy in mid-2022. If your organisation is interested in leasing some office space adjacent to our offices, please get in touch.
We also held the annual AGM to showcase what was achieved in 2020/21 and looking forward to 2021/22. Congratulations to Stuart Ewin, Sheri Johnston and Maddy Hogan for being re-appointed as Directors for another three-year term.
Finally, to celebrate International Day of People with Disability, check out our Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation held in person at Crown Riverwalk Friday, 3 December from 10 AM to 2 PM with many exhibitors and activity zones.
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Every new person who joins as a member of Disability Sport & Recreation adds support to our vision of a Victoria where people with disability can choose and access any sport or recreation they want to engage with. Best of all, membership is free.