National Paralympic Committee of Peoples Republic of China visit Brisbane

Members of the Chinese National Paralympic Committee, NPC, visited Brisbane last week and took the time to meet with Sport Inclusion Australia and Global Games Sports Company, CEO Ms. Robyn Smith and General Manager of the Global Games Sports Company, Mr. Greg Dunk. The Chinese delegation included Vice President NPC China Mr. Jia Yong, Deputy Secretary General NPC China Mr. Zhijun Yong and Chief Officer for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Wang Bo.

Left to right: Ms Wang Bo, Ms Robyn Smith Mr Jia Yong Mr Zhijun Yong

The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the development of opportunities for athletes with an intellectual impairment both within China and Internationally and China’s potential to participate at the 2019 Global Games in Brisbane.

Ms. Smith has been working with China through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through the Asian Sport Partnership program to develop opportunities for athletes with an intellectual impairment. As Vice President of the International Federation for athletes with an intellectual impairment (INAS), Ms. Smith has also been working to assist China with the eligibility process which when completed will open the door for athletes from within China to participate on the International stage at INAS and Paralympic events. The meeting enabled Ms. Smith to demonstrate the work that had been completed to date with the eligibility process and show a promotional video for the Global Games which had been translated into Chinese.

“The opportunity to meet with the Chinese National Paralympic Committee delegation face to face is so important, it provided an opportunity to demonstrate the work that we have been doing and to obtain feedback directly from the delegates. Establishing personal relationships is also extremely important as we move forward.” Ms. Smith said.

The delegation were impressed with the presentation, our commitment to people with an intellectual impairment and in particular our efforts to be inclusive of Chinese people. The delegation also confirmed they have a large number of athletes with an intellectual impairment participating in sport many of whom will be ready to compete in the INAS pathway once the eligibility process has been developed in China.

China do not have any athletes currently registered with INAS and consequently had no athletes with an intellectual impairment compete at the 2016 RIO Paralympics, where China dominated the medal tally with a staggering 239 medals. They now have their sights firmly on the additional 54 medals in the intellectual impairment area.

“Having the Chinese delegation in Brisbane and having the opportunity to discuss INAS, INAS eligibility, Classification, Oceania/Asia relations, 2019 Global Games and Australia/China relationship with him and obtain his commitment to our movement was so invaluable.” Ms. Smith said.



For further information please contact:

Robyn Smith, CEO
Sport Inclusion Australia Inc.
T: +61 3 5762 7494
M: 0418 979 459

Round 4 NGA successful recipients awarded

Round 4 NGA Successful Recipients with Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, Lady Mayoress Anne Quirk and Robyn Smith CEO Sport Inclusion Australia

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk and Lady Mayoress Anne Quirk announced Next Generation Athlete grants and scholarships to 17 Brisbane athletes at a reception held at the Brisbane Town Hall.

The 4th round of Grants and Scholarship recognised and awarded funding to athletes to assist them in realising their sporting dreams and potentially assist them in their preparation for the 2019 INAS Global Games. Supported by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust, grants and scholarships were distributed to athletes.

“Over the last 50 years the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust has improved the wellbeing of the most marginalised and vulnerable members of our community. I would like to congratulate all recipients today and take this opportunity to thank Sport Inclusion Australia for their hard work and dedication to facilitate inclusiveness in all sports across the Brisbane community. It is our pleasure to make a positive difference in the lives of these young athletes.” Anne Quirk, Lady Mayoress and INAS Global Games Patron.

Lord Mayor Councillor Graham Quirk was also in attendance. Inspired by fellow Brisbane resident and World Welterweight Boxing Champion Jeff Horn, the mayor provided some encouraging words to athletes. “Follow your dream to be the best that you can be in your sporting endeavours” said Lord Mayor Councillor Graham Quirk.

Athletes acknowledged the support of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust and the importance of the grants in helping them meet the costs of training, equipment and competition as they strive to be the best they can be.

Grants and Scholarships were awarded to athletes across Athletics, Cricket, Indoor Cricket, Netball, Swimming and Tennis.

“Sport Inclusion Australia is delighted to have developed the Next Gen Athlete program with the support of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust. The Next Gen Athlete program is an innovative way of identifying and supporting young athletes with an intellectual impairment in the Brisbane metropolitan region on their athletic pathway. It will assist aspiring young athletes with the help of state sporting organisations and Queensland school sport to provide an opportunity to compete at local, state, national and international level and if possible the 2019 INAS Global Games here in Brisbane.” Robyn Smith CEO Sport Inclusion Australia.

The presentation provided an opportunity to release the latest Next Generation Athlete promotional video highlighting stories of Next Gen Athlete Scholarship holders: Jack Ireland (Swimming), Yasmin Sanders (Tennis), Mac Russell (Rowing) and Alberto Campbell-Staines (Athletics). INAS Global Games Ambassador Daniel Fox (Swimming) was also in attendance.

The next grants round will open in December 2017 with grants and scholarships to be awarded in 2018.

Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress Quirk with Yasmin Sanders (Scholarship Tennis)

Recipients of Grants were:
Alex Baker (Tennis)
Haydn Brumm (Cricket)
Thomas Burrows (Athletics)
Harry Cahill (Swimming)
Jennifer Collins (Netball)
Summer Dullaway (Swimming)
Caitlin Kerby (Swimming)
Shane Kuilboer (Indoor Cricket)
Lisa Lenton (Netball)
Shaun McKee (Indoor Cricket)
Patrick O’Brien (Swimming)
Ashley-Kate Schlenner (Swimming)
Chelsea Stebbing (Swimming)
Brett Wilson (Cricket)
Aaron Wood (Cricket)

Yasmin Sanders (Tennis)
Bailey Stewart (Swimming)

Robyn Smith (CEO Sport Inclusion Australia) 0418 979 459

Sport Inclusion Australia & Touch Football Specialised Inc working together

Sport Inclusion Australia and Touch Football Specialised Inc. have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to assist in the provision of inclusive services and opportunities for people with an intellectual impairment.

Sport Inclusion Australia was formed to provide inclusive opportunities for people with a disability, primarily those with an intellectual impairment using sport as the medium.  It now works with National Sporting Organisations and School Sport Australia to ensure that sport is available for all Australians.  Touch Football Specialised Inc. is an organisation which aims to increase sporting and recreational opportunities for people with an intellectual impairment through touch football and rugby league.

“We became aware of the work being done by Graeme Clancy and Touch Football Specialised Inc. and realised that we needed to work with him to do what we could to assist, Graeme’s drive and commitment and the synergies between our organisations are amazing.”  Said Robyn Smith, CEO of Sport Inclusion Australia.

Touch Football Specialised Inc. has been operating for five years and holds a Special School Championships which attracts over 300 athletes along with monthly competitions conducted in association with Rugby League clubs and a weekly All Abilities competition which provides the opportunity for individuals to play alongside their family, friends and the community as teammates in a fully inclusive model.  The inaugural “Battle of the Border” was held on the weekend of 17-18 June and saw 10 club teams from NSW and QLD compete for the TFS trophy with the highlight being a representative match between NSW and Queensland.  For the record NSW’s Hunter Hornets took out the Specialised and All Abilities divisions with NSW also winning the Interstate trophy.

Players gathered with Touch Football Specialised Ambassador Konrad Hurrell and fellow Gold Coast Titans player Joe Greenwood.

“We believe that all Australians should have access to sport regardless of ability, our motto is sport is for everyone, no exceptions.  We cater for players of all abilities and pride ourselves on developing creative modifications to make sure there is a place on the field for everyone.”  said Graeme Clancy Founder and President of Touch Football Specialised Inc.

A special education teacher on the Gold Coast, Clancy started the program when one student asked if he could play with him at the State Championships. After searching for opportunities and finding limited possibilities Graeme decided to create his own pathway.

“As our focus is on participation and socialisation, the biggest indicators of successes for our program is the new friends and opportunities that have been made. We have been blessed to work with Touch Football Queensland, NRL Clubs the Gold Coast Titans and Wests Tigers, and many local sporting clubs, all of whom have embraced the competition and the athletes.  Working with the sports provides sustainability but also connects the players with the community and provides a sense of belonging” Clancy said.

“Sport Inclusion Australia is pleased to be working with Touch Football Specialised Inc. and looks forward to promoting the opportunities being provided for people with a disability across Australia and the Oceania region.” Smith said.

Robyn Smith, CEO Sport Inclusion Australia

Mobile: 0418 979 459

Graeme Clancy, Touch Football Specialised Inc  
Mobile: 0433 903 155

Sport Inclusion Australia spreads its reach to China

Working closely with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs through its Asian Sports Partnership program, Sport Inclusion Australia has been able to spread its reach and importantly create a strong link with key stakeholders in the disability area in China.

More than twelve months in the making, the program to develop opportunities for young students with an intellectual disability came to fruition this week when Australian Basketball representative, Kelly Bowen delivered a week of training for both the students and teachers at the Yuanping Special school in Shenzhen. Bowen a member of the Australian 3 v 3 female basketball side will spend the week working with the students and teachers with more visits planned for the future.

Social inclusion through sport is the philosophy upon which Sport Inclusion Australia, formerly AUSRAPID was established 30 years ago.    It is a proven philosophy with a record for breaking down barriers with the focus on a person’s ability and expanding social interaction and pathways for athletes.  Sport Inclusion Australia plans to develop a relationship and inclusive opportunities in China, in particular the city of Shenzhen, a sister city to Brisbane,  the home of the 2019 INAS Global Games.

The project will work with Yuanping, a special school of over 930 students and the Shenzhen Leopards, National Basketball club to enhance the basketball skills of the children with a disability, but more importantly to build the capacity of local coaches and clubs to be fully inclusive and ensure these initiatives are sustainable.   Once a successful model is developed it will be expanded to include other sports and has the potential to be expanded to the 1000 other special schools across China.  Sport Inclusion Australia will also work with the Chinese Paralympic Committee to discuss the possibility of commencing a High Performance program for those more talented athletes to ensure there is a pathway through to INAS events and the INAS Global Games in Brisbane 2019.

Sport Inclusion Australia CEO Robyn Smith visited China back in March to meet with Education hierarchy of the Shenzhen Foreign Affairs Office, key staff at the Yuanping Special School and the Chinese Paralympic Committee, and was stunned at the facilities, numbers of students and willingness of the Chinese authorities to participate in the program.  “Australian schools and sporting organisations would be amazed at the facilities available here at a special school for over 1500 students with a disability, Smith said.  “There are over 1000 special schools across China with millions of students with an intellectual disability.”  Smith said.

The program has quickly identified further opportunities for the Global Games and INAS.  “It is clear that China is very supportive of students with an intellectual disability, but their participation in the Paralympics and INAS events has been restricted due to lack of accessible eligibility processes.” Smith said.  All eligibility processes must be conducted in English, and this has clearly been a stumbling block for the Chinese.  “If we want to expand into non-english speaking countries we need to be open to change and ensure that the process is open and translated in multiple languages.”  Smith said.  With the coaching and education program now underway and in the capable hands of Bowen, Smith will now focus on ensuring that the eligibility process is made available to the Chinese in her role as Vice President of INAS.

China dominated the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, but didn’t have one representative with an intellectual disability in their team.   While this program is focussed on developing opportunities for young students, both female and male, it also has the capacity to develop pathways for millions of students/athletes in China into events conducted by INAS (The International Sporting Federation for athletes with an intellectual disability) and to the Paralympic pathway.   More immediately with the Global Games in Brisbane in 2019, the participation of China is now a reality.


For further information please contact:

Robyn Smith, CEO
Sport Inclusion Australia Inc.
T: +61 3 5762 7494
M: 0418 979 459

2017 INAS Swimming Championships Mexico

Sport Inclusion Australia is pleased to announce that the 2017 INAS Swimming Championships will be held in Aguascalientes, Mexico from 27 November to 4 December this year.

Working with Swimming Australia we are calling for Expressions of interest from swimmers interested in representing Australia at the Championships.

We are particularly excited to be able to include Youth swimmers and swimmers with Down syndrome and high functioning Autism for the first time.

For more information please see documents below and or contact Tracy Lawrence via email to:

INAS Swimming Championships Info 2017 (.docx)
Qualifying Standards June 2017 (.xlsx)
INAS EOI Form (.docx)

Call for Athletes for 2017 SU-DS Championships in Portugal

Sport Inclusion Australia are working with the International Sports Union for Athletes with Down Syndrome (SU-DS), with the aim of taking a team of athletes to the 2017 SU-DS Championships in Portugal in October.

The Championships will include Athletics, Table Tennis, Judo and Basketball (3×3).

While our focus for the Championships is to get an Athletics team together we are interested in hearing from athletes and coaches who would like to support this initiative across the above sports.

For further enquiries please contact Michael on 03 5762 7494

Download the Expression of Interest Form here

2017 INAS Athletics Team announced for Championships in Bangkok

Sport Inclusion Australia today announced the Athletics team to represent Australia at the 2017 INAS Athletics Championships in Bangkok, Thailand from 12-19 May.

The team of 20 athletes includes 12 athletes competing at their first INAS Championships alongside 2011 silver medallist Stephanie Schweitzer and 2013 Bronze medallist Alberto Campbell. Schweitzer who made her International debut in 2007 at the age of 15 will be competing at her 4th INAS Athletics Championships. Schweitzer winning a Silver medal in Italy in 2011 in the 100m event.

This is the first INAS Athletics Championships to be held in Asia, and a great lead up event for the INAS Global Games to be held in Brisbane in 2019.

“It is pleasing to see so many athletes selected to represent Australia at these Championships, particularly the large number of new athletes which bodes well for the Global Games in Brisbane in 2019” said Sport Inclusion Australia and Global Games Sports company CEO Robyn Smith.

New athletes include Victoria’s Jessica Venner, Caytlyn Sharp, Aaron Bird, Kirstie Newcombe; NSW’s Jack Connors, Rosemary Boyland, Lleyton Lloyd and Brittney Bielby; Queensland’s Joshua Lush, and Corey Anderson; and South Australia’s Nathan Wood and Timon Sideris.

Team Manager Brett Watton is excited to see so many new emerging athletes, “many of the new athletes announced themselves with outstanding performances at the Australian All Schools Championships last December and have continued to perform within their state competitions.” Watton said. “There are several athletes that we are still considering for selection and may be added to the team in the coming weeks which might make this the largest team to represent Australia at an INAS Athletics Championships” Watton added.

The team will depart for Thailand on the 12th of May.

100m Lindsey Hendy (QLD), Nathan Wood (SA)
200m Lindsey Hendy (QLD), Alberto Campbell (QLD)
400m Alberto Campbell (QLD), Drew Semmens (VIC), Tim Foster (NSW)
800m Paul Gilbert (WA), Drew Semmens (VIC)
1500m Paul Gilbert (WA), Kyle McIntosh (NSW)
5000m Kyle McIntosh (NSW), Timon Sideris (SA), Aaron Bird (VIC)
10,000m Timon Sideris (SA), Aaron Bird (VIC)
Long Jump Lindsey Hendy (QLD), Joshua Lush (QLD)
Triple Jump Joshua Lush (QLD)
Discus Blake Carr (NSW)
Javelin Corey Anderson (QLD)
Heptathlon Jack Connors (NSW)

100m Stephanie Schweitzer (NSW), Caytlyn Sharp (VIC)
200m Stephanie Schweitzer (NSW), Caytlyn Sharp (VIC), Brittney Bielby (NSW)
400m Stephanie Schweitzer (NSW), Jessica Venner (QLD), Eliesha Byrt (VIC)
800m Jessica Venner (QLD), Eliesha Byrt (VIC
3000m Kirstie Newcombe (VIC)
High Jump Caytlyn Sharp (VIC)
Triple Jump Caytlyn Sharp (VIC)
Shot Put Rosemary Boyland (NSW)

INAS Youth Challenge
Lleyton Lloyd (NSW) Discus and Long Jump

Brett Watton (VIC) Manager
Anula Costa (VIC) Coach
Matt Rawlings (NSW) Coach

INAS Tennis World Championships Australian Team Announcement

The team to represent Australia at the upcoming INAS Tennis World Championships in Bolton, England, has been announced today (Friday 3 February).

The team of 6 players includes World number one Male (1) Archie Graham from Queensland and World Number two Female (2) Kelly Wren from NSW, they will be joined by Mitchell James (QLD), Damian Phillips (NSW), Josh Holloway (QLD) and Carla Lenarduzzi (VIC).

This is the same team that represented Australia at the last World Championships in Delaware, USA, finishing on top of the medal tally with Gold in the Men’s Singles, Doubles, Team, Mixed Doubles; Silver in the Women’s Singles, Doubles and Team; and Bronze in Men’s Singles, team and mixed doubles events.

The team selection comes on the back of the Australian Tennis Championships held in Melbourne last week, which saw record entries and included a team of male players from Great Britain which included former World number one (1) Fabrice Higgins and number three (3) Thomas Mellor.

“The Championships was a great opportunity to gauge how our players are performing, particularly with the participation of the players from Great Britain.” Alison Scott Head Coach said. It was much needed competition for the Australians, particularly in the doubles with Archie Graham and Damian Phillips playing off against the Great Britain pairing of Fabrice Higgins and Dominic Iannotti in the final, a match which could be a preview of the World Championship final. The Australian’s winning a close fought match 7-5, 6-4. Graham came up against the former World number 1 Higgins in his quarter final game in the men’s singles, a close fought match won by Graham. Graham finished second in the Singles to South Australia’s Sam Von Einem (5-7, 4-6), a surprise loss for the World Number 1.

Wren heads to England keen to regain her World number 1 ranking, something she lost for the first time in the USA when she finished second in the women’s Singles. Undefeated for 17 years, the World Championship loss for Wren came as a surprise for all and has inspired her to work harder to regain her title and ranking.

“We will head to England confident, as we have once again selected a strong team, however, with some recent surprise results we know anything can happen and our players won’t be taking anything for granted.” Jay Schuback, Team Manager.

“Australia’s success at the INAS Tennis Championships is testimony to the inclusive programs run by Tennis Australia and it’s state member associations. The players are good tennis players and play competitive tennis within their states.” Robyn Smith CEO Sport Inclusion Australia

The team will assemble for a pre-departure camp in Brisbane in April before departing for England. The Championships will be played from the 9th to the 14th of April.

• Jay Schuback (Team manager) 0466 351 434
• Alison Scott (Head Coach) 0405 558 172
• Robyn Smith (CEO Sport Inclusion Australia) 0418 979 459