Introducing the 2019 Participant Advisory Group

Group photo of the 2019 Participant Advisory group members with Inclusive Sport SA General Manager on a sporting field Inclusive Sport SA is pleased to announce the launch of the first advisory group to the sport and recreation sector, made up entirely of participants with lived experience of disability that will provide valuable insight and advice to the South Australian sport and recreation sector to engage more participants in an active lifestyle. Selected by the PAG Selection Sub-Committee, (two internal Inclusive Sport SA senior staff members and four external sport and disability Industry leaders), the six selected PAG members represent a cross section of lived experience from individuals with intellectual, sensory or physical disability. Each with a background in sport from grassroots, local, national and international competitions and events. The self-driven advisory group that spans across sporting codes will offer a much-needed perspective to the sport and recreation in South Australia and a voice for people with disability that ensures the discussion and development of best practices for inclusion is current and relevant. Driven by the ethos that, all Australians should enjoy active participation in ordinary life, regardless of differing levels of ability, Inclusive Sport SA CEO John Cranwell said, “Engaging people living with disability and seeking insight around the development, implementation and promotion of inclusion initiatives, is at the very heart of what our organisation is setting out to achieve”. “This is a very exciting initiative for Inclusive Sport SA and the sector, with the PAG made up entirely of people with lived experience of disability. Our role is purely as an administrative and assistance role.” More often than not, societal attitudes, practices and structures, rather than an individual’s impairment can restrict and prevent people with disability from participating in mainstream sport. With this in mind, PAG members will highlight sport’s participation positives and shortfalls and assist to enhance inclusive engagement opportunities for the benefit of the sector and the individual. GM, Sector Engagement Katrina Ranford who will be the key support to the activities of the Group and attend all meetings said, “We are so pleased with the level of interest we received for the PAG, both from exceptional candidate nominations to state organisations already making enquiries as to how they may utilise the expertise of the Group moving forward”. “With the help from external leaders in the disability, NDIS and sporting field, we have assembled an outstanding group of individuals that are keen to make a lasting difference and help the sector navigate a greater number of people with disability into active roles within community sport clubs and perhaps find our next national heroes.” Introducing the Inclusive Sport SA 2019 Participant Advisory Group:

Michael Zannis

Michael has an impressive history in the sporting arena that spans almost thirty years as both an athlete and advocate. His on field success has included representing Athletics SA from 1990 – 1998, the SA Blind Cricket State Captain from 2016-17 and Vice-Captain and Acting Captain for the Australian Blind Cricket Team. With a knowledge and familiarity of sport that extends past the playing surface, Michael is one of the founding members of Blind Sporting Council Australia, and is the President of Blind Sports SA (a position he has held since 2012). He has served on a number of advocacy boards and committees, such as Blind Cricket SA, Employee Representative for the Royal Society for the Blind Board of Directors, and a former committee member of Blind Cricket Australia and SACA Cricket Committee.

Scott Crowley

Scott has been an advocate in disability sports for over seventeen years as an athlete, public speaker and business owner. The Co-Founder of The Good Scout Travel Co (an inclusive travel platform for those with a physical disability), Scott has assisted Disability Recreation and Sport South Australia (DRSSA) to deliver workshops, and just recently, he was a guest speaker at the International Day of People with a Disability November 2018 event at Victoria Square. A former athlete of the Australian Men’s wheelchair basketball program (The Rollers) for more than ten years, Scott also lived in Italy for a period playing the game. He captained the Adelaide Thunder wheelchair basketball team, in the National Wheelchair Basketball League and made the decision to switch from Wheelchair Basketball to Para-triathlon in 2016. He was a member of the High Performance Triathlon Australia Team that competed at the 2016 & 2017 World Championships, and more recently competed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games where he finished fifth.

Gary Sutherland

Gary has been actively involved in inclusive sport and sport administration for the past twenty years, having held the position of President of the Woomera & District Football League and Roxby Downs Junior Basketball Association and committee member at Mitcham Football Club. For the past six years, Gary has coached the Goodwood Saints C7 football team (a 12-a-side Australian Rules Football competition for males 15 years and over living with a disability) and a coach in Basketball SA’s Inclusive basketball program (for the past twelve years). With a passion for improving people’s lives and living the ethos that sport is the perfect tool for integration challenges, Gary has been the coach of numerous junior and senior club teams across a wide range of competitions, divisions and representative teams. A previous history in the mining and resource industry, currently Gary is involved in numerous Director and Executive roles within University Student bodies.

Chantel Bongiovanni

Chantel has been involved in the Powerchair sporting community for over ten years on a local and state level. As an athlete who competes in Powerchair Hockey, Powerchair Football and Rugby, in her spare time, she also coaches in a junior sporting league for children with disability. Most recently, she competed overseas at the 2018 Powerchair Hockey World Championships, her first time representing Australia in an international competition. She is passionate about developing disability sports in Australia, highlighting issues relating to inclusion and disability and giving a voice to those who may not always get a say. When not playing sport, Chantel has a great interest in advocacy and is undertaking a PhD in inclusive policy and disability.

Toby Sutherland

Sport is an essential part of Toby’s life, with the twenty nine year old committing to a busy schedule playing and coaching four times a week across basketball, football, futsal and soccer. He has represented SA at National competitions and works hard to be the best coach he can be, achieving a level one-basketball coach accreditation and coaching a mainstream junior soccer team on Saturdays. He is involved in the ‘Athlete Leader Program’ with Special Olympics and was a member of the SA basketball team that took home the state’s first ever silver medal, and collected a soccer Gold medal representing Australia at the Asia Pacific games. Toby is excited to bring his experience and ideas to the Group.

Catherine Beinke

Catherine has played in the Basketball SA inclusive basketball competition at Pasadena for the past ten years and has represented SA in the sport since 2007. She is also a keen netballer, having played for Contax Netball Club in the C6 Adelaide Metro Netball Competition (a netball competition for women and girls with a disability or integration difficulty), for the past seven years. A well liked player amongst the netball community and one who is always helping others with their game; in 2018 Catherine won the Contax Club award. The Participant Advisory Group will assist in educating the greater disability community and provide insight into sport’s best practice in mainstream competitions; disability programs; promotional campaigns and subsequent feedback that will help with the success of the organisation’s Information, Linkages and Capacity Project. Making recommendations to Inclusive Sport SA’s General Manager and Chief Executive Officer and or relevant senior managers from sporting organisations as required. One of the first tasks for the PAG was the approval of the ‘Inclusion in our Clubs’ survey, which was also developed in consultation with the Monash University’s Behavioural Science Department.  Administered exclusively by Inclusive Sport SA the survey is confidential and anonymous and is open to Players, Parents, Coaches, Managers, Officials, Committee Members and volunteers aged 12 years from South Australian competitive club sports via the State bodies: Tennis, Cricket, Aussie Rules Football, Netball, Athletics, Hockey, Basketball, Soccer/Futsal, Softball, Volleyball and Gymnastics. The aim of the survey is to examine our attitudes toward disability and inclusion within South Australian organised club sporting competitions.  The survey will go LIVE in the next couple of days. Inclusive Sport SA is grateful to the members that make up the 2019 PAG and appreciate their willingness to volunteer their time, talents and experiences for the benefit of the community and sport and recreation in South Australia. Learn more about the Participant Advisory Group HERE.