We won the Australian Sports Commissions Play by the Rules Award and we are so excited to win this Award because inclusion is so important to our organisation and the Special Olympics program is just fully integrated and part of our sport.

What we’ve done with Special Olympics Gymnastics is fully integrate it into our sport. So if you are a Special Olympics gymnastyou are just a gymnast. So that means that at our major competitions during the rotations the Special Olympics  athletes are just integrated into our mainstream competition.

And also we provided new pathways for them so a recreational pathway for them to start gymnastics in a young athletes program targeting children from two to eight years.

And that’s really exciting because it gives these kids the fundamental skills they need
to participate in our sport and any other sport and it’s been great working with  Special Olympics Australia to really kick that off.

So our numbers have quadrupled in the last twelve months. For clubs and coaches
it gives them a new element of what theycan offer their local community.

For coaches we’re finding that the more they work with diverse groups of participants the better they become at coaching.

Because they are communicating in different ways and their skills just have to improve because they’ve got to be creative and innovative. And that’s what we’ve found, the coaches have really improved. The partnerships between Gymnastics and Special Olympics Australia has been the key driver of the success of this initiative.

Without their support we wouldn’t have been able to create tailored opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities.

And the right resources that’s going to support our coaches to enable these  opportunities in clubs.

So what’s been great is the work that we have piloted here in Victoria has been rolled
out nationally and is creating more opportunities for gymnasts with intellectual disabilities across the country.

And for us we want to share and create opportunities so that’s awesome.

We are really proud of the work that we have done in the inclusive space at Gymnastics Victoria and we believe it is so important for us to include
people from all under represented groups.

So for any more information you can go to gymnasticsvictoria.org.au