Sporting opportunities should be available to everyone regardless of physical limitations. On Friday the 31st of May Adelaide University Sport, UniSA Sport and Flinders University Sport & Fitness held the inaugural Inclusive Sports Come & Try at Pridham Hall. The event was open to all students from the three universities who were invited come and try four sports which have all been created for people with physical disabilities. These sports were wheelchair table tennis, table cricket, boccia and goalball.
There was a great atmosphere with almost all participants trying every sport and learning about the different sports' strategies, whether it was how to throw the boccia balls depending on their weight, or which way to throw the ball in goalball while the people protecting the goals had the eyes covered by 100% vision impairing goggles.
Adelaide University Sport’s Thomas Sharpe believes it was a combination of an inclusive environment and the experience of learning new sporting skills that made the day a success. “The highlight was having a world bronze medalist from boccia compete against any comers and really try and help those getting involved. Competing against someone who is elite is always exciting, and this young athlete was so welcoming and just wanted everyone to enjoy his sport.”
Thomas says the event was a great success and just one of many initiatives involved around inclusive sports for students. “Inclusiveness has always been important a focus at Adelaide University Sport. Our events cater for all students, and in recent times, we have tried to get on the front foot in this space. All three South Australian Universities believed that together we could create something great, and with the help of inclusive sporting bodies such as Goalball SA, SACA and Boccia SA, we saw an event that was truly inclusive to all. It didn't matter if you were able bodied or had some form of disability, everyone was on a level playing field.”
Adelaide University Sport are looking forward to providing students with more opportunities to get involved in inclusive sport and exercise both on campus and in conjunction with UniSA Sport and Flinders University Sport & Fitness.