Australia’s Jade Lucy and Caytlyn Sharp inspire next generation of female athletes

Athletes Jade Lucy (NSW) and Caytlyn Sharp (VIC) have been chosen to take part in an exciting new project – #WeAreSport – that will help inspire the next generation of female athletes with an intellectual impairment in Australia.

#WeAreSport is being run by the International Federation for Athletes with intellectual impairments (INAS), a member of the International Paralympic Committee. It aims to help female athletes to use social and other media to promote their lives as high performance sportspeople.

INAS is the world’s leading organisation for developing sport for athletes with intellectual impairments. It has received a grant from the Agitos Foundation, the development arm of IPC, to help create more female role models. As a member of INAS, Sport Inclusion Australia was keen to get involved.

Sharp and Lucy were chosen for #WeAreSport as leading athletes in their sports of Swimming and Athletics.

Jade Lucy shows off one of her 5 Gold medals won at the 2017 INAS Swimming World Championships in Mexico

Lucy recently returned from the INAS Swimming World Championships in Mexico having dominated freestyle events winning all but one.

Sharp is our latest Athletics World Champion having won the Women’s High Jump at the INAS Athletics World Championships in Bangkok in May at just 15 years of age.

Caytlyn Sharp draped in an Australian Flag during the medal ceremony for the women’s High Jump at the 2017 INAS Athletics World Championships in Bangkok (May 2017)

As part of the project, Sport Inclusion Australia also had to nominate two administrators.   They chose Chantel Lewis (QLD) and Anula Costa (VIC), who will receive training and support to work with partners organisations to build pathways for women and girls with an intellectual impairment.

Robyn Smith, INAS Vice President, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Jade Lucy, Caytlyn Sharp, Chantel Lewis and Anula Costa to #WeAreSport. It is so important that we give both athletes and administrators the tools to develop themselves and sport for women and girls in Australia.”

“The project aims to start to address the gender imbalance that exists across the world, both at the INAS and Paralympic level. In turn that will increase the depth of field at competitions and make our sports more competitive all-round.

“We know that it can be a challenge for countries to find ways of including athletes with an intellectual impairment and for athletes to promote themselves. But these are obstacles worth overcoming and ones that we are firmly aiming to address.”

The first activities for #WeAreSport will take place in June 2018 including a training webinar for the athletes and administrators. Each athlete will also receive a specially designed media pack containing their biography, pictures and graphics they can share on social media.

The administrators will be given materials and guidance to help them attract female athletes to try sports. As part of their commitment they will deliver at least one development workshop in their country for women and girls.

Activities will climax on the 2018 International Day of Sport for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments on 20 September.

#WeAreSport is co-funded by Sport Inclusion Australia, the INAS member in Australia.


Contacts


 

Sport Inclusion Australia is a member of INAS and the Australian Paralympic Committee working with sports at a National level to provide opportunities for people with an intellectual impairment and promoting inclusion.

For more information on Sport Inclusion Australia contact Robyn Smith (Chief Executive Officer) on 0418 979 459 or email robyn.smith@sportinclusionaustralia.org.au.

INAS is the International Federation for athletes with intellectual impairments, managing elite competition for 14 sports and promoting inclusion worldwide.

As well as the sports on the Paralympic programme – athletics, swimming and table tennis, – INAS provides competitions and supports eligibility and classification for basketball, cricket, cycling, football/futsal, equestrian, para hockey, rowing, alpine and Nordic skiing, taekwondo and tennis.

For more information about INAS contact Lucy Dominy, Marketing and Communications Manager, at lucy.dominy@inas.org

2018 Australian Tennis Championships

Records, Comebacks and Mixed results – The 21st Australian Tennis Championships

An exciting week of tennis at the 21st Australian Tennis Championships in Melbourne had it all, record breaking performances, amazing comebacks and an exciting new event, the mixed doubles.

New South Wales’ Kelly Wren has dominated women’s tennis for more than 20 years, and no event more than the Australian Tennis Championships. Kelly won the first event in 1998 and on Saturday at Melbourne Park she defeated Victoria’s Carla Lenarduzzi 6-3, 6-0 to take out her 21st title. Amazingly Wren has not lost a set in those 21 years, her biggest challenge came in 2004 when Queensland’s Kathryn Wilson took her to 5-7 in the first set.

While Kelly and Carla were battling it out for the women’s singles, on an adjacent court World Number 1 Archie Graham from Queensland and current Australian Champion Sam Von Einem (South Australia) were slugging it out for the men’s title.

In their first match-up since last year’s Championship decider, Von Einem dominated the first set winning 6-0 and it looked like he was set to repeat his victory over Graham and win his second National title.  Down 0-2 in the second set Graham had other thoughts and amazingly broke back winning 6 of the next 7 games to take the second set 6-3.  The third set was an amazing battle between two outstanding players with Graham emerging victorious 6-4 to regain his Australia title. “The contest was exceptional” quoted Robyn Smith CEO of Sport Inclusion Australia.

Graham has now won 5 Australian Singles Championship titles 2 more than any other male player. The women’s doubles final saw both singles finalists backing up on different sides of the net again.  Wren partnered with Victoria’s Sharon Morse and Lenarduzzi partnered with Queensland’s Kathryn Wilson.  As in the singles, Wren had won every doubles title since the first in 2000. The teams had met in the past three Championship deciders, all going the way of Wren and Morse.

Playing some of her best tennis for years Wilson and Lenarduzzi proved too strong for the defending Champions winning 6-2, 6-3 in one of the upsets of the Championships.

Queensland pairing of Mitchell James and Josh Holloway took on the defending champions and Silver medallists from the last INAS World Championships Archie Graham (QLD) and Damian Phillips (NSW) in the final of the men’s doubles.  It was the third time the teams had met in the Championship decider with Holloway and James winning in 2014 and Graham and Phillips in 2016. James and Holloway got off to a great start winning the first set 6-3 and continued their form into the second winning 6-4 to win their third Doubles title.

The 2018 Australian Tennis Championships will be remember for a number of reasons but importantly the introduction of Mixed Doubles.

South Australia’s Sam Von Einem and Queensland’s Yasmin Sanders earned their place in the history books as the inaugural Australian Mixed Doubles Champions.  It was a title they had to work hard for taking on the Bronze medallists from the last INAS World Championships Archie Graham (QLD) and Carla Lenarduzzi (VIC) in the semi final 6-4 and then the current World Champions Damian Phillips (NSW) and Kelly Wren (NSW) in the final 5-3, 4-1.

Having watched the two doubles finals INAS Global Games – Brisbane 2019 ambassador Pat Rafter presented the players with their trophies along with Sport Inclusion Australia Ambassador Wally Masur.  Both Masur and Rafter had commented on the quality of play but also on the terrific sportsmanship demonstrated from the Men and Women.

“The Australian Tennis Championships is the pinnacle event on the calendar worldwide for players with an intellectual impairment, obviously the World Championships has its prestige, but the Australian Championships being run alongside the Australian Open on amazing courts at Albert Reserve and Melbourne Park provides an amazing experience and competition second to none.”  Robyn Smith

“Without the support of Tennis Australia, Lord’s Taverners Australia Victoria Branch and the Victorian Government, we would not be able to put on such a magnificent event.” Smith said

The 2018 INAS World Tennis Championships will be held in Paris in July, Tennis Australia are set to announce the players to represent Australia in the coming days.  The Championships will be held during the INAS European Games in Paris from 15 to 22 July.  Australia dominated the 2017 INAS World Championships winning the men’s singles, Ladies Doubles and mixed doubles and finishing runners up in the Ladies singles and men’s doubles.

With quality and depth of players growing from year to year Australia looks set to go into the 2019 INAS Global Games in Brisbane not only full of confidence but also with a full quota of players. The INAS Global Games will be held in Brisbane in October 2019 and will incorporate the INAS World Tennis Championships.

 


 

Contacts

Robyn Smith, CEO Sport Inclusion Australia: 0418 979 459

Alison Scott, Head Coach Australian Team: 0405 558 172

Jay Schuback, Tennis Australia: 0466 351 434

Tennis, Cricket, Action!

Its all action in Victoria in January with the National Cricket Inclusion Championships in Geelong and the Australian Tennis Championships for players with an intellectual impairment in Melbourne.

In it’s second year the National Cricket Inclusion Championships brings together Australia’s best cricketers with a hearing, vision or intellectual impairment vying for their respective National Championship title.  Six states (NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, WA and Tas) have returned for the Championship for players with an intellectual impairment which will conclude on Friday 26 January.

Defending Champions Victoria have suffered a surprise loss to South Australia in the preliminary rounds, but with semi finals to be held on Thursday are still a chance for a berth in the Championship decider and the opportunity to defend their title.

Back in Melbourne we will see some of the World’s best players in action in the 21st Australian Tennis Championships from the 24th to 27th of January.  Australia’s World Champions: Archie Graham (Men’s singles), Kelly Wren (Womens and mixed doubles), Damian Phillips (Mixed doubles) and Carla Lenarduzzi (women’s doubles) will all be back in action.

The men’s singles will see some exciting action with Graham (QLD) keen to reclaim his National title which he lost to Sam Von Einem (SA) in 2017.  Von Einem was a surprise winner in 2017 playing in his first Championships.  The Paralympic silver medallist for Table Tennis dominated last years event defeating the current World number 1 Graham in the final and also the former World number 1 Fabrice Higgins from the UK in the semi final.

The women’s singles will see NSW’s Kelly Wren start as favourite for her 21st National Title.  Undefeated at this event since 1998, Wren has won all singles and doubles titles.

This year’s Championship will see the introduction of Mixed doubles for the first time, an event that has seen the Australian team pairings of Wren (NSW) and Phillips (NSW) and Graham (QLD) and Carla Lenarduzzi enter.  With Wren and Graham the current World Champions and Graham and Lenarduzzi the Bronze medallists, it would be no surprise to see these pairings fight it out for that inaugural Natonal Title.

 

For more information
Cricketwww.ncic.cricket.com.au
Tennishttps://tournaments.tennis.com.au/sport/tournament.aspx?id=FD24CA12-3D9D-4291-B5BD-4B67B78AC4FE

Contacts
Aaron Dragwidge (Cricket Australia) 0416 255 391
Jay Schuback (Tennis Australia) 0466 351 434
Robyn Smith (Sport Inclusion Australia) 0418 979 459

December 2017 eNews

Congratulations to Australia’s latest WORLD CHAMPIONS and all athletes who have represented our country through 2017. You are wonderful sporting ambassadors both on and off the field of play. We also acknowledge the contribution of parents, coaches, staff and the Natonal and State Sporting Organisationas who have contributed to the athletes successes in all events.

Click here to read more from our latest newsletter.

Sport Inclusion Australia Returns to China

Working closely with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs through its Asian Sports Partnership program, Sport Inclusion Australia’s CEO Robyn Smith and Basketball representative Kelly Bowen returned to China this week to continue developing opportunities for young students with an intellectual impairment.  Smith and Bowen made their first visit to China in May this year delivering basketball programs to students and teachers at a special school in Shenzhen.   This week’s visit was the second phase of the program and saw Bowen continue the coaching program, while Smith met with members of the Chinese National Paralympic Committee in Guangzhou to coordinate an Eligibility Forum.

The aim of the program is to enhance the basketball skills of children with an impairment primarily girls and to build the capacity of local coaches and to be fully inclusive and ensure these initiatives are sustainable.  The Eligibility Forum is the next stage of the program which will help to share the eligibility procedures and processes necessary for an athlete to compete on an International level in an INAS or Paralympic pathway.

Sport Inclusion Australia also worked closely with Basketball Victoria and Emerson School to produce some filmed coaching resources for their Chinese counterparts, which was warmly received.

“It has been a wonderful experience to work with the students and their teachers and to develop the program, but to ensure that this initiative is sustainable we also need to work with the governing sports bodies to start to open up International pathways for the players.”  said Smith

China dominated the medal haul at the Rio Paralympics but did not have one athlete with an intellectual impairment in their team due to lack of accessible eligibility processes.  Since her first visit to China, Smith has been working with her International organization, INAS and local businesses in Australia to look at ways of making the eligibility process accessible to China.    With the aid of Professor Jan Burns, Smith has arranged for the delivery of an Eligibility workshop, the first step in opening up the International pathway for the young players participating in the Basketball program and for all athletes with an intellectual impairment in China.

Smith can’t speak highly enough of the organisations in China who have grasped this opportunity passionately and demonstrated a commitment to inclusion and providing more equitable international opportunities for Chinese athletes.

While Smith and Burns have delivered the Eligibility workshop in Guangzhou, Bowen was working away delivering the basketball program to students and teachers at Yuanping school in Shenzen.  “It has been nearly 5 months since our initial visit and the improved skill level and confidence of students has been amazing” said Bowen.

With the success of the program to date and the acceptance and commitment of the Chinese, Smith is keen to start working on other sports and opening up the program to other countries.  “The funding from the Asian Sports Partnership has enabled us to develop a program model that can easily be transferable to other sports and other countries, and make a difference to the lives of so many people with an intellectual impairment. ” Smith said.    More immediately with the INAS 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
E: robyn.smith@sportinclusionaustralia.org.au

President Wayne Bird awarded Life Membership

Sport Inclusion Australia President Wayne Bird was today awarded Life Membership of Sport Inclusion Australia.

Bird becomes only the second life member after organisation founder and initial President Marie T Little OAM in 2006.  Bird took over the Presidency on Little’s retirement in 2011. Bird’s involvement commenced in 2006, when as CEO of Basketball Victoria he attended his first meeting. So impressed by the movement, Bird welcomed the opportunity to join the Board in 2007.

During his time as President Wayne has demonstrated incredible leadership and compassion. A good listener, Bird has led the organisation through major transformation – a new name, brand, significant governance changes, amalgamation with Vicsrapid and the inception of the National Inclusion Alliance, while never deviating from the philosophy.

“Bird has led the organisation with integrity and distinction and apart from his list of accomplishments has not only increased the profile but also the professionalism of Sport Inclusion Australia.” Said Robyn Smith, CEO of Sport Inclusion Australia.

During his tenure Bird has also served as INAS Oceania Chairman from 2013 to 2017.

Achievements

  • President of Oceania on INAS Governing Board 2013 – 2017
  • Representative of Finance Committee INAS Governing Board 2013 – 2017
  • Development of the National Sport Inclusion Alliance
  • Support of New Zealand to join INAS
  • Successful bid and hosting of the 2017 INAS General Assembly
  • Successful bid for the 2019 INAS Global Games
  • Formation of the Global Games Sports Company

Contacts
Wayne Bird 0412 112 238
Robyn Smith 0418 979 459

2017 Annual General Meeting & Inclusion Forum

Sport Inclusion Australia is all set to host its 2017 Annual General Meeting and Inclusion Forum at the Melbourne Parkview Hotel on Friday 3rd November. With over 60 guests attending, including representation from 20 different state and national sport organisations, the day is sure to be a great success. 

Australian Swimmers to take on World’s best at the 2017 INAS Swimming World Championships in Mexico

Australian swimmers will take on the World’s best at the 2017 INAS Swimming World Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico from the 29th of November to the 4th of December.

Returning to South America after their domination of the pool at the 2015 Global Games in Ecuador, team officials are confident of another strong showing by the small team of 10 swimmers which includes 4 swimmers making their debut for Australia.

India Biesse-Fitton in the 2013 INAS Swimming World Championships in Noumea

Jade Lucy (NSW) and Jaime-Lee Getson (VIC) dominated the pool in Ecuador winning over 10 Gold medals between them.  Both swimmers return with qualifying times that could see them in for a similar haul of medals. Nikesha Harding (NSW) is another swimmer expected to feature amongst the medals in individual events.

Australia’s women dominated the relays in Ecuador and will be keen for another dominant performance in Mexico with  Lucy, Harding and Getson to be joined by India Biesse-Fitton (VIC) and debutants Casey Stevens (NSW) and Bronte Marshall (NSW) in the relay events.

“While most swimmers will have a large number of individual events we look forward to focussing on the relays, which will provide an opportunity for our younger swimmers to experience the pressure of swimming for a medal.”  Herbie Howard (Head Coach)

Patrick Donachie (NSW) debuted for Australia at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics winning Gold in the 4 x 100m Freestyle relay at the age of 17.  17 years later he is still swimming and still representing Australia.  Donachie will contest the men’s 50m Butterfly, Backstroke and freestyle events along with the 100m freestyle and Backstroke in Mexico and hopefully team up with his fellow swimmers in the relays.

“Patrick has been a senior statesman of our swim teams for many years and has been a wonderful team captain and mentor for the younger swimmers, it is a pleasure to have him on our team again.” Tracy Lawrence (Australian Team Manager0

Donachie will be joined by Ben Morrison (VIC) and debutants Ben Stokes (ACT) and Jarrod Lee (QLD) in the relay events.

 

Contacts

Herbie Howard
Head Coach
0439 723 524
herbieh@bigpond.net.au

Robyn Smith
Chief Executive Officer, Sport Inclusion Australia
0418 979 459


Funding

A self funded team, the team has setup a Mycause page to assist with the cost of representing Australia at these Championships.  Donations can be made to https://www.mycause.com.au/page/159245/australian-swim-team-for-athletes-with-intellectual-impairment

Australian Swim Team

Men
Patrick Donachie (NSW – Campbelltown Amateur SC) 34
Ben Morrison (VIC – Melbourne VIC SC) 26
Ben Stokes (ACT – Woden Valley SC) 17
Jarrod Lee (QLD – Gladstone SC) 16

Women
Casey Stevens (NSW – MLC Marlins SC) 18
Jade Lucy (NSW – SLC Aquadot SC) 20
India Biesse-Fitton (VIC – Vancouver Pacific SC) 18
Jamie – Lee Getson (VIC – Melbourne Torpedoes SC) 18
Nikesha Harding (NSW – Aqua Blitz Toongabbie SC) 18
Bronte Marshall (NSW – Sydney Swim PLC) 18

2015 Australian Swim Team – INAS Global Games – Ecuador

 

 

2019 INAS GLOBAL GAMES: Major International Sporting Events to work together

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation and the Global Games Sports Company working together to support the development of inclusive sport to challenge perceptions, change attitudes and strengthen communities locally and globally.

The Global Games Sports Company (GGSC) and the The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which both organisations will share knowledge before, during and after the Commonwealth Games in April 2018.

Rob Peak Chair Global Games Sports Company and Pat Vidgeon General Manager GOLDOC

The leadership teams from both organisations will work together to identify potential legacy projects, initiatives and programs that benefit both events. Over the term of the agreement the Global Games Sports Company will work closely with GOLDOC and their workforce team to identify opportunities for volunteers and paid team members to transition or reengage with the Global Games Sports Company on the development and delivery of the 2019 INAS Global Games.

“This is a monumental occasion for the area of inclusion and testament to the role sport plays in Australia to provide opportunities and pathways for athletes with an impairment.” said Robyn Smith

“GOLDOC is committed to ensuring that the 2018 Commonwealth Games leaves a lasting legacy for all Australians on the power of sport to change lives.   We are delighted to be working with the Global Games Sports Company in sharing information to assist the delivery of the INAS Global Games – Brisbane 2019” Mark Peters, CEO GOLDOC stated

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will take place 4-15 April and will be the largest sporting event in Australia since the Sydney 2000 Games.  

The 2019 INAS Global Games will see more than 1000 elite athletes with an intellectual impairment compete across 9 internationally sanctioned sports at some of Brisbane’s iconic/international sporting venues.

In addition to the 9 internationally sanctioned sports organisers will also showcase the sports of Netball, AFL, Cricket and Hockey during the Games.

“We are excited to bring the Games to Brisbane and to work with the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council, to deliver the best Games ever, Australia did it in Sydney in 2000 and we have no doubt with the support of the Queensland Government, Brisbane City Council and the State and National Sporting organisations and over 300 volunteers that we will do it again here in Brisbane in 2019.”  said Robyn Smith, CEO of the Global Games Sports Company.

 

Media Contact
Robyn Smith, CEO Global Games Sports Company
0418 979 459