Saturday, April 13, 2024

QC Foundation supports All Abilities Program

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Photo Credit: Queensland Cricket

Queensland Cricket Foundation has donated $10,000 to the Valley District Cricket Club’s (VDCC) All-Abilities Cricket Program, a modified training experience that provides children and young adults with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to learn and participate in cricket.

Established in 2021, the tailored, free of charge program allows participants to develop and improve key skills whilst engaging in the social aspect of sport.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics latest stats in sports participation, only one in five children with a disability gets to experience the social benefits and key social/motor skills that sports can provide.

Pivotal in the development of the program, Founder and Coordinator Karen “Kaz” Willis initiated the project after a conversation with a friend discussing the noticeable shortage, inequity and lack of opportunity for children with intellectual disabilities to participate in cricket programs within Brisbane.

“For those lower functioning children with high anxiety, autism, down syndrome, ADHD and other neuro-diverse conditions, there wasn’t any cricket program specially designed for them,” Kaz said.

“Within a couple of weeks, we drafted a program and started to advertise and draw attention that we had one here (at VDCC).

“Ultimately, what we want is to build a love of the game and for these kids to keep coming back every year to participate in the program.”

All-Abilities require specific sensory equipment, staffing with coaching qualifications and marketing to further establish the program. Queensland Cricket Foundation’s commitment to the program will make cricket more accessible for all its players and allow more young cricketers a chance to participate.

Through the support of the Foundation, Queensland Cricket is hopeful that the All-Abilities program will further expand across Queensland to allow more children and young adults the opportunity to access modified cricket programs. Queensland Cricket is dedicated to funding future innovations and equipment modelling that can provide children with diverse sensory needs, a chance to participate in a modified and inclusive experience.

“I was so wrapped that we got such amazing support from the Queensland Cricket Foundation because this means I and some of our other volunteer coaches can attend three major disability expos this year,” Kaz said.

“What we want to achieve by going to these expos which we haven’t been able to afford to do in the past is to showcase this program, make those connections with support carers and networking companies and build awareness.

“This is such a unique program and attending the disabilities expos gives us the opportunity to showcase this to make the program bigger, better and have more children participating.”

Funds from the Queensland Cricket Foundation will also support the required equipment costs and mentoring for coaches who are involved in training neuro-diverse children.

These programs continue to be beneficial in creating a stronger pathways system for our Special Olympics and QLD Cricket inclusions teams moving forward. Two players who started in the All-Abilities Foundation program were a part of this year’s Queensland’s Inclusion Team.

GM of Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Queensland Cricket, Pete Lock said that the Foundation was proud to support the All Abilities program.

“The Queensland Cricket Foundation’s purpose is to make cricket in Queensland more accessible, and the Valleys All Abilities Program is an initiative that allows us to do this.

“We are focused on raising funds and making a difference in our communities, and we’re proud to support the All Abilities program and the positive impact it is having on the kids and parents involved.”

The All-Abilities program is held over four weeks and runs in two instalments between November and February.

For more information on the All-Abilities program, visit Valleys All Abilities Cricket Program.



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