Each year the festival, supported by the Victorian Government, offers Victorians with, and without, disability the opportunity to explore and experience accessible and inclusive sport and recreation through hands-on activities and information sharing.
Featuring over 30 exhibitors and three activity zones, there were a number of sport and recreation organisations offering people the chance to try different inclusive sport and recreational activities and learn about programs they can get involved with in the community.
Several teams battled it out in the AFL Wheelchair Corporate Challenge, with Brendan Shroud Captain of the Collingwood Magpies wheelchair football team on hand to pass on some top tips.
There was also a chance to meet Paralympians including rugby player Jason Lees and athlete Maria Strong, interact with giant wheelchair puppets or watch and listen to the Vision Australia Radio live broadcast.
The highlight of the day was the Law Enforcement Torch Run, with up to 200 police and Special Olympics Athletes running from the Victoria Police Centre with the Flame of Hope to light the cauldron at the festival.
Torch Run organiser Detective Inspector Matt Volk, said for several years now Law Enforcement Torch Run Victoria has been celebrating International Day of People with a Disability by doing a police-centre based torch run.
“So what you’re seeing today is about 80 police employees and about 20 athletes with various Special Olympics Clubs around Victoria come together, we’re carrying the flame of hope and we’ve delivered it here to the festival, which has been fantastic,” he said.
Connecting, getting active and making friends, that was the clear message from people who attended the Disability Sport and Recreation Festival at Southbank on Monday 3 December.
Best summed up by April Wilson, Inclusion and Programs Manager of Gymnastics Victoria…
“Today’s festival is really the epitome of that, it’s all of these fantastic organisations with really similar values coming together to showcase that sport is for everyone.”
For more information about the day visit Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation
For information about accessible sport and recreation opportunities throughout Victoria, visit AAA Play https://aaavic.org.au/