IDS19 Awards Finalists Announced!

Inclusive Sport SA are pleased to announce the Finalists of the annual Inclusion and Diversity in Sport (IDS19) Awards.

These awards acknowledge individuals, programs and organisations across Australia who are leading the way in inclusive practices through sport and recreation. Each nominee was reviewed against specific criteria for each award and were asked to demonstrate how they contributed to inclusive practice in sport and recreation.

This year saw a number of innovative and wonderful people and programs nominated for their work in the community. We are excited to see so many opportunities being created for all people to participate in sport and recreation.

The future is bright indeed! Thank you to all who nominated a program, person or sport for an award this year and good luck to all the finalists listed below.

Champion of Inclusion

Shane Bond Shane has been a strong promoter of Aboriginal Health through the connection of sport for many years facilitating the ‘Lift em Foot’ program which sees more than 100 Aboriginal participants train and run in the ’City to Bay Fun Run’ and receive a health check.  

This year he also worked closely with the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) and Watto Purrunna Health Service to promote cricket to the Aboriginal community through the Woolworths Cricket Blast Programs. T

he programs were targeted at Aboriginal children aged 5-12 who had the opportunity to participate in a 6-week cricket program which culminated in the Aboriginal School Cup. The cup saw a 220 participants take part in the day and receive health checks.

Jenni Niederer As co-founder of the Reynella All Abilities Cricket Blast along with husband James, Jenni started the program as an opportunity for her son Callum to pursue cricket in an inclusive environment, enabling players to try their hand with mainstream teams.

With eight successful seasons under its belt the program is now used as a template for SACA and other cricket clubs looking to establish an Inclusive Cricket Blast program.

The impact that Jenni and the program have had on the community is indisputable with several of the original program participants now employed as SACA Casual Cricket Officers working at the centre to help deliver the program.

Bijaya Joshi – Winner The Founder and President of the Adelaide Nepalese Cricket Association has had a massive impact on the Nepalese and Australian Community through many of his initiatives.

Bijaya’s heavy focus on giving back to the community has seen him organise and oversee, Junior Cricket Blast programs, a Pink Stumps charity event, a blood drive and the Aus-Nepal Cricket tournament in 2018/19 so far.

Additionally he is now collaborating with SACA to organise the shipment of MILO branded equipment to Nepal with the hopes of providing children with quality equipment needed to learn to play cricket.

Inclusion Specialist of the Year

Rosemarie Ackland – Winner Rosemarie is a strong believer in the health and wellbeing benefits of regular physical activity and its role in promoting inclusion in local communities.

Her role in the Fit and Fun health promotion program with Belgravia Leisure and Victoria Health has seen people with disabilities engaged in physical activity and participating in educational programs in the Mornington Peninsula.

Fit and Fun includes a wide range of sports such as dance, basketball, table tennis, cricket and tennis, each professionally facilitated by local sports coaches and trained instructors tailoring the activities around people’s individual needs and interests. The program also links participants and providers with local coaches and clubs in the community to provide coaching, practice and game play.

Aleksei Bondarenk Working and living in the Yarra Ranges, Aleksei has collaborated with Local Government, community and sporting groups and service providers to address rising mental health concerns, particularly among youth who reported feelings of isolation, helplessness and social disconnection, but also among other groups (LGBTIQ+, People with Disabilities, elderly, and First Nations peoples). 

He has worked tireless as part of Belgravia Leisure in the local community, particularly in the Mental Health First Aid, Move for Mind (supports students experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety at school) and Kick Start Programs (assists young people in out of home care to develop their employable skill set through a mentoring program).

Aleksei’s passion and leadership have also paved the way for others to follow, he mentors three inclusion coordinators, who in turn support inclusion in the catchments of local leisure centres.

Amy Wiseman A familiar face for those involved in community cricket programs in South Australia, Amy has over ten years’ experience working within the South Australian Cricket Association’s (SACA) Game Development team.

Amy currently drives the SACA Development Academy which provides Cricketers with Disability (Intellectual Disability, Deaf & Hard of Hearing, Blind & Vision Impaired) and Aboriginal Cricketers with an opportunity to train in a high-performance environment while also having access to professional coaches, dietitians and mentors.

As well as this she continues to oversee the South Australian Aboriginal Sports Training Academy (SAASTA), All Abilities Woolworths Cricket Blast Programs and National Championships Awards Dinner each year.

Her passion and commitment to ensuring everyone, young or old, has the opportunity to participate in an environment suitable to their respective needs is unyielding along with her belief in the positive benefits sport can provide to both individuals and communities.

Inclusive Project/Program of the Year

The Wayfairer Project – Inclusion Solutions The WayFairer Project was created to address important community issues directly related to belonging in the Town of Cambridge, Western Australia; The ageing population being involved, contributing and belonging to the community and the knowledge and skill gaps across local community groups, schools, sporting clubs and organisations.

The project came about following the Relationships Australia study that sound people aged 55 to 64 experienced decreasing levels of social support and emotional loneliness associated with ageing. According to Relationships Australia, poor mental health, including depression, lower levels of self-worth, life satisfaction and subjective well-being can be linked to loneliness which can lead to substance abuse or negative feeling.

The WayFairer Project aims to solve this through connecting older Australians to their local community by getting them involved with community clubs and groups. An

Inclusive Australia Open – Tennis Australia  – Winner As part of an Organisational commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, Tennis Australia (TA) established the priority project “An Inclusive Australian Open”.

The program aimed to generate greater exposure, working with partner organisations to deliver an inclusive Australian Open. Actions included an Indigenous Welcome Ceremony at the beginning of the event, fundraising for grassroots tennis programs, all abilities come and try’s, education opportunities, cultural and disability awareness training for event staff and the inclusion of tournaments targeting underrepresented groups running during the Grand Slam.

One Culture Football 5’s – University of South Australia The One Culture Football 5s Project are tailored programs for young people aged 13 to 25 from refugee and migrant backgrounds. Participants attend purpose-designed soccer sessions weekly during school term in one of four Adelaide locations, as well as school holiday one-day tournaments.

More than 1000 participants have taken part in the programs which aim to support young migrants who face challenges such as being disconnected from their family units and support services when they experience problems such as unresolved trauma or anger issues.

The project engages sport as a venue for supporting the development of protective social networks, fostering belonging and therefore indirectly preventing antisocial behaviour and offending as well as providing the health benefits of regular exercise.

Sport of the Year

Tennis Australia – Winner Showing an organisational dedication to improving Diversity and Inclusion this year’s ‘An Inclusive Australian Open’ project saw Tennis Australia use a significant national sporting event (and International Grand Slam) to gain exposure for, and celebrate, the tennis talent of People with Disabilities (PWID, physical, deaf/hard of hearing, blind/vision impaired), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, People who identify as LGBTI+ and Multicultural communities.

Athletics SA The organisation showed continuing commitment with a number of programs and events designed to make athletics accessible to all South Australians. Programs included: Young Athletics Para Program, Aboriginal Athletics Academy & Deadly Fun Runs, and Female Leaders in Officiating.

Additionally the organisation showed great initiative and collaboration through their work with Novita regarding the RaceRunning program and Autism Spectrum Disorder awareness.

Surf Lifesaving SA Surf Lifesaving SA’s work in the inclusion space has seen the introduction of the On the Same Wave program, their mobile application to assist lifesavers on the beach with people from CALD communities and their Aboriginal Surf Sports Program (Wiltja Residential Program, APY Lands and Yalata Communities and the South Australian Aboriginal Sports Training Academy (SAASTA) school programs.).

The organisation has also this year offered free places in their Surf Babies and Little Lifesavers programs to Migrant families, working determinedly towards increasing the water safety of all South Australians and reducing accidental drownings in the state.

Winners for each category were announced on Monday 20 May at the 2019 Inclusion and Diversity in Sport (IDS19) conference at Adelaide Oval with awards presented by Inclusive Sport SA Chairperson Sue Wundenberg.