Special Olympics Australia is excited to announce our partnership with Rugby Australia. This partnership will help provide training and resources which will allow Rugby Australia coaches to deliver inclusive sporting opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities and autism.
Recently, Leisl Stimpson, Special Olympics Australia’s Education and Training Manager, delivered a workshop to ten Rugby Development Officers and coaches from around New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory.
The workshop provided coaches with information on how to develop rugby programs in a way that is inclusive of the needs of all individuals involved both with and without intellectual disabilities. The training session included information on what is important to know about rugby participants before the program commences, tips on effective communication for people with intellectual disabilities, session setup diagrams, and emphasised the importance of routine to help create an inclusive environment for all participants.
The inclusive workshop was also attended by Nalyn, a Special Olympics NSW athlete, and her mother Jenny. Nalyn shared personal anecdotes about her involvement and participation in Special Olympics and the positive impact on her life. Rugby Australia coaches then delivered some great activities from their Get Into Rugby resource, which provided the opportunity to put their learnings into a practical environment.
Tom Halliday, Head of Programs and Inclusion for Rugby Australia said, “In delivering on this commitment, Rugby Australia is proud to partner with Special Olympics Australia to improve access and further opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. In partnership, we look forward to building a lasting relationship that delivers meaningful action and change, ensuring that rugby is and remains, a sport for all.”
Rugby Australia will commence delivery of programs for students with intellectual disability and autism from Term 3 in Sporting Schools. Special Olympics are proud to partner with 11 National Sporting Organisations in Sporting Schools – it is an exciting time for schools and their students to be able to participate in inclusive sport programs!