Parklands students explore equity through wheelchair basketball

Parklands students explore equity through wheelchair basketball

Grade 11 physical education students at Parklands Christian College enjoyed a valuable lesson in Wheelchair Basketball as part of their Equity: Barriers and Enablers unit on Monday October 11, 2021.

The class had been exploring various personal, social and cultural factors that impacted on individuals’ access and engagement in physical activity.

The lesson was supported by the team at Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association as an opportunity for the students to try something new, gain a new perspective and foster an environment of inclusion.

PCC Grade 11 head of sport Josh Leembruggen said the class enjoyed learning basketball, wheelchair relays and other skills, and took the wheelchairs around the school on footpaths to get a feel of every-day life in a wheelchair.

“The kids really enjoyed it,” he said.

“It was a fun and memorable lesson.”

Mr Leembruggen said the students gained a broader perspective of not only the physical barriers to sport, but also financial barriers for accessible sporting resources. 

Basketball wheelchairs, for example, could cost between $1,500 and $5’000 on average.

The sport was originally designed as a rehabilitation and recreation activity for people with physical disabilities, but is now enjoyed by people of all abilities.

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The Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association’s mission is to engage, empower and develop people with a disability to live a more healthy, active and fulfilled life.

The organisation started in the 1960’s as a small club within the Paraplegic Welfare Association in Queensland.

Today they are widely recognised as a leader in the field of sport and healthy activity for people with a disability by national bodies including Sport Australia and Paralympics Australia.

The Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Associations Inclusive School Sports program aims to provide a learning experience for all children to learn and play inclusive sports, and could include:

  • Para-athletes sharing inspiring stories of their journeys of resilience
  • Interactive session for all children to participate in inclusive para sports (directly linked with curriculum)
  • Q&A Sessions
  • Breaking down myths and misconceptions about disability
  • Certificates and take-home branded merchandise for each student
  • Ongoing support including Teacher Training and in class resources
  • Professional Development sessions for staff.

Four sports are currently available through the school program including Goalball, Boccia, Wheelchair Rugby and Wheelchair Basketball.

For more information about Sporting Wheelies visit https://www.sportingwheelies.org.au/ .

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