Rebound WA to bring wheelchair basketball to more schools

Rebound WA's Amanda Merritt talking to Chisholm Catholic College student Jack Lightfoot at a recent clinic.
Rebound WA's Amanda Merritt talking to Chisholm Catholic College student Jack Lightfoot at a recent clinic.

REBOUND WA is aiming to expand partnerships with local schools after successfully running its Wheel Life program in the City of Bayswater this year.

The organisation, which specialises in sport programs for people with disabilities, were awarded $3200 through the City’s Better Bayswater grant program.

Paralympian and Rebound WA programs officer Amber Merritt has visited schools including Chisholm Catholic College and John Forrest Secondary College where she educated students about the importance of accessibility and gave them a shot at wheelchair basketball.

Chief executive Simon Mead said the grant helped the organisation reach out to new schools and showed the City’s commitment to create a more inclusive and accessible community.

“We were also able to extend our partnership with John Forrest Secondary College, who we have previously run a program with, and reach a wider age group,” he said.

“We feel that being able to reach out to students at an early age to discuss disability awareness is an important step if we are to create a truly inclusive society.

“This opportunity opens up the student’s eyes as to some accessibility issues which exist in the world around them which were previously overlooked.

“By giving the students an opportunity to play wheelchair basketball, the students are also more aware as to the elite level of some of the para-athletes in the world.

“Students leave with a greater respect of the para-athletes out there and a wheelchair is no longer viewed as a limitation but rather a piece of sporting equipment.”

Wheelchair basketball.

Mr Mead hoped grants such as Better Bayswater continued into the future so that they could reach more schools and expand existing partnerships.

“We are hopeful that the other councils will also pick up on this initiative and implement one of their own,” he said.

City chief executive Andrew Brien urged local community and non-for-profit groups to apply for the grant program, which opened on September 23.

“With up to $5,000 per application available to projects that align with our Strategic Community Plan, there are endless possibilities,” he said.

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