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The Phoenix Project

About the Phoenix Project

The Phoenix Project was a team of seven working to help revitalise the disability sport and recreation sector in a covid-normal world. The project aimed to support the sector to ensure that people with disability feel confident and safe when they return to sport and active recreation. It will also be building the organisational capacity of Disability Sport & Recreation and the sector. To be more inclusive, representative, intersectional and accessible.

Click here to meet the members of the Phoenix Project.

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"The Phoenix Project was a wonderful opportunity for Disability Sport and Recreation as an organisation to progress towards its vision of greater choice, access and participation in sport and recreation for people with disability.”  - Richard Amon, CEO at Disability Sport & Recreation.

Project Objective

The Phoenix Project was funded by a Working For Victoria (WFV) grant from the Victorian Government. The purpose of the project was to help revitalise the disability sport and recreation sector in a 'COVID-normal’ world, ensuring people with disability are not left behind and feel confident and safe when they return to sport and active recreation.

How we intended to do this:
 
Celebrate: Create greater awareness of DSR’s work and our programs through storytelling and disability accessible content.
 
Educate: Develop improved training resources and methods to enhance knowledge in the sector for employees and volunteers, facilitating program delivery to people with disability.
 
Collaborate: Working with partners to form a new Disability sport and recreation alliance as a unified representation of the sector. Building capacity and providing support where possible. Consult and connect with the sector and community.

DSR Staff at the 2021 Disability Sport and Recreation Festival.

[Image ID: DSR Staff at the 2021 Disability Sport and Recreation Festival.]

Max Reilly and Cara Thomson at The DSR Kids Summer Camp 2022.

[Image ID: Max Reilly and Cara Thomson at The DSR Kids Summer Camp 2022.]

Outcomes

The Phoenix Project gave DSR the capacity to build on areas such as training, volunteering, communications, programs, inclusion and accessibility. Here are some of the main outcomes of the project: 

Training and volunteering

  • Review and elevate the overarching DSR volunteering processes 

  • Build and grow the capacity of sector staff and volunteers through the development of training products

 

Programs 

  • Grow participation in sport and recreation throughout the sector

  • Identify and attract support from new stakeholders and grow DSR partnerships

 

Communications

  • Ensure consistent content accessibility standards are implemented, promoted and encouraged throughout the sector

 

Inclusion and Accessibility

  • The formation of the Disability Advisory Committee (DAC) comprising of nine people with a diverse range of disability, intersections and experiences. 

  • Creating the foundation for a Victorian Disability Sport & Recreation Alliance (VDSRA).

Phoenix Project infographic.png

[Image ID: an infographic with 6 icons and text below. The top row includes an icon of a calendar with the text "58 events and activations. 31 across Inclusion week", another icon of two hands shaking and text "342+ hours of face-to-face and virtual planning" and an icon of five circles representing people with the text "157+ staff, organisers, professionals met with". The bottom row includes an icon of two people holding up a gear wheel with the text "96 organisations collaborated with", an icon of various sports balls and bats and text "10 pending Alliance members" and an icon of three hands together with text "9 Disability Advisory Committee members with diverse backgrounds and disability experiences".]

What's Next

The impact of the Phoenix Project on the sport and recreation community is ongoing. This is evident in the project’s involvement in initiatives, programs, relationship building, resources and internal policy changes. There is no pause button. For example, the Disability Advisory Committee will ensure that DSR’s work is informed by and inclusive of people with disability.

The Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Alliance 


The Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Alliance (VDSRA) is a group of organisations dedicated to creating a more connected and unified disability sport and recreation sector in Victoria.

 
This project follows the example of the Australian Sporting Alliance for People with Disability. In that together we can create a more meaningful impact within the disability community. 


Each organisation shares the same vision: 
 

  • All people with disability in Victoria should have equal opportunity to participate in sport and recreation. 

  • That these opportunities are in welcoming and inclusive environments. 

  • There are opportunities in ‘mainstream’ or ‘specialised’ sport and physical activity programs. 

  • That we use a ‘person-centred’ approach, and we tailor to an individual's needs.

  • We look forward to announcing the finalised alliance and start impacting change together.

Max Reilly, Cara Thomson and a videographer filming a video at a come and try day.

[Image ID: Max Reilly, Cara Thomson and a videographer filming a video at a come and try day.]

Two Melbourne University students trying blind and low vision cricket.

[Image ID: Two Melbourne University students trying blind and low vision cricket.]

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