Mondays are always an exciting start to our week because Ruby knows she gets to go to Sport for Fun after school.
We first started going as a way for Ruby to be active, have fun and to have a social activity to call her own. The program offered by Interchange Outer East was a wonderful introduction to different sports for Ruby. Each week they focus on a different sport from soccer, basketball to hockey and cricket. Although Ruby struggles through the warm up exercises she gets encouraged to do her best and so she tries. Fiona the coordinator at Sport For Fun makes everyone feel welcome and part of the team. She instructs each person at their skill level in a supportive and encouraging way.
Netball is one sport Ruby really looks forward to. With each session, she gradually gets better at her skills and learning the rules. Sport gets more competitive as kids gets older and this program allows Ruby to master the skills at her own pace.
I was surprised recently to find out that Ruby signed up for the school netball team as part of inter-school sports. She trained alongside her friends every lunchtime and practiced at home. It wasn’t until I went to watch Ruby play, that I realised what the Sport for Fun program had really achieved for Ruby. She stood on that court alongside her classmates wearing the goal shooter bib. They saw her as a valuable team member, capable enough to be in the position. I smiled, laughed, clapped and cheered as the game went on. On the inside I was holding back tears. She wasn’t given a token position because we practice inclusion, Ruby was given that position because she deserved it. Seeing her being apart of the winning team was a proud moment.
Going to Sport for Fun started off as a fitness goal for Ruby but it has meant so much more. It has been a program where Ruby can learn the skills of a sport at her pace and then feel confident enough to play as a valued team member with her peers.
Yvonne C (mother)