By Neesha Sinnya
The Suncoast Spinners are passionate about the importance of ‘reverse inclusion’ – instead of finding ways to include people living with disabilities into mainstream sport, they want to bring able-bodied people into disability sport. The club caters for physically disabled and able-bodied athletes in sports including wheelchair basketball and rugby.
“It doesn’t matter whether you have a disability or not, everyone can sit in a chair,” Sharon Hill from Suncoast Spinners said.
The Sunshine Coast-based club is quickly expanding, with hopes to branch out into the South Burnett region soon.
Hill said providing people with disabilities the opportunity to be involved with team sports is incredibly important to build social skills and provide a fun outlet. At the Disability Expo on Sunday, 7 March, at the Kingaroy Showgrounds, people of all abilities had the opportunity to try wheelchair basketball.
“It’s not a question of whether there is a need for it – we know there is a need for it. There are a number of different people wanting this, they’ve also found out that facilities aren’t as available as you would like. We have had some kids here today with Spina Bifida who have never sat in a sports (wheel) chair in their life and by this stage, they should have,” Hill said.
The club is already well-known in the region, with some players travelling from the South Burnett to the Sunshine Coast for training.
“For us, it’s about supplying an opportunity for people to play team sports and to get involved at that grassroots level. Everyone is welcome, there’s no difference between a walker or a non-walker, or someone with a disability or not,” Hill said.