In conjunction with Victorian Youth Week 2019, Cire Community School organised a Wellbeing Day which featured a wheeltalk basketball workshop at Kilsyth Basketball Centre.
The workshop was a great opportunity for students to experience what it is like to be wheelchair-bound and gain a greater understanding and empathy for people with limited mobility. The day also helped highlight there is a way to overcome obstacles in our lives and be resilient through adversity.
Overall the experience was very empowering and developed a great sense of gratitude, empathy and wellbeing among students.
The following feedback from students demonstrates the benefit of the experience:
Asharnte. As part of Wellbeing Day we had a Wheelchair Basketball workshop at Kilsyth Basketball Centre with Gary. Gary suffered a workplace injury about 30 years ago when he fell from a height and landed badly on his back. A very sports-oriented person, Gary has a special bike where he lays down and usually goes for a 4-5 hour ride each day. Gary is in a wheelchair and still competes in many different sports which sets a good example to kids who don’t do sports when they are completely capable. Gary is a great role model to children and adults who have a disability.
Mahalia. We split up into teams of five so there were 10 players on the court. Each player was given a wheelchair and it only took me a few minutes to get the hang of using it. I found it easy, enjoyable and overall a worthwhile experience.
In a letter of thanks to Basketball Victoria/Disability sport Australia, Michaela said the following:
Overall wheelchair basketball was a fun and enjoyable experience. It was great to see students go out of their comfort zone and join in on an exhilarating team effort. It was refreshing to arrive onsite and just be able to practice using the wheelchairs with no 20-minute explanation. The only complaint I have is that it wasn’t long enough. The game was entertaining and I would go again.
Our facilitator had an interesting story to tell and helped make the experience all the more enjoyable on the court. He told us about how he became a paraplegic and gave us some cautionary advice about thinking about every action you take as you never know how you might wake up the next day. This really resonated with me.
I’d like to thank you for this experience and the opportunity to play basketball, in wheelchairs.
The wheeltalk experience was one of a number of thought-provoking wellbeing workshops at Cire Community School’s Wellbeing Festival. Students were able to choose workshops that would help them ‘grow’ and be stretched. The workshops were both informative and challenging.
The workshops were run by professionals and covered family conflict, managing ‘big feelings’, masculinity and femininity, managing anxiety and depression and legal content about the rights and responsibilities of adolescents. Students also were able to be part of a session on sleep, safety and respect, help seeking and coping skills. This session used a number of practical activities and examples to engage students in thinking through some of these important topics.
A big thank you to Eastern Access Children’s Health (EACH), Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (ECASA), Eastern Legal, Anglicare, Inspiro and Eastern Domestic Violence Outreach Service(EDVOS) for their support with this event.