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All they wanted for Christmas was a sporting chance

January 3, 2019
Katie Kelly OAM

Thank you to all of you who have supported us in our Christmas campaign.

We wanted to do this campaign to give the 96 children aged 7-17 years, who missed out on a 2018 grant, a sporting chance.

All 96 applicants are living with a disability – physical or intellectual or sometimes both.

We wanted to acknowledge that we know every day they face many more hurdles and challenges, and their challenges are much more than children should have to bare.

Some of the children have had multiple spinal injuries, have suffered brain injury, have lost their hearing, have cerebral palsy and rely on a wheelchair, blind and many more conditions.

They are our future.

All they want for Christmas is a chance, a sporting chance.

A chance to be like their mates, to enjoy what their mates do.

The chance to be on the sporting team.

The chance to captain a team.

The chance to be free of their worries and to play.

Children remind us on every level of the simple joys in life.

Every one of the 96 applications, some written by Mum and Dad on their behalf, some by their Grandparents who are their carers and some are their own words, and each one shared with us a beautiful insight.

They are teaching us the way of life, to live and enjoy each and every moment.

Here are the words of some that we have featured over the campaign:

Emily, 11 years old. Sport: Athletics and Softball

"Each day can be a different day for me due to my Autism and Intellectual Disability and I am not going to let that get in my way as I am only 11!'

Mitchell, 15 years old. Sport: Wheelchair Basketball

Mitchell’s participation Wheelchair Basketball has encouraged his self-confidence, emotional health and a link to contribute and converse with the disabled and abled bodied community.

Seanna, 10 years. Sport: Swimming

“I was crushed at 4 years under the tail age of a horse float and then had two big spinal operations. We live on a farm. I love swimming but it is hard with my physical injuries.”

Nathan, 15 years. Sport: Waterpolo

“I was worried Tourette’s syndrome would make it too hard to be a Water Polo goalkeeper. Thanks to my Coach I can now control the ‘tics’.”

Sarah, 15 years. Sport: Swimming

“Sarah has severe kyphoscoliosis with heme-vertebrae and rib anomalies and a history of syringomyelia and chiari malformation. She also suffers from Restrictive Lung Disease and is of short stature. Sarah loves Swimming. Our aim is to keep Sarah in the sport for as long as she desires and is able to."

Joshua, 14 years. Sport: Trampoline

“I always wear an oxygen tank for any activity due to Pulmonary Hypertension, Tetralogy of Fallot from birth. It’s hard watching my class do sport I can’t do. I feel depressed when I have to watch everyone else in my class do things I can't. But I love the trampoline and with extra padding I can do this without hurting myself.

Thank you to our amazing sponsors who made this campaign possible – BMD Group, BlueScope, Harvey Norman, King & Wood Mallesons and Tagzart Design.

A big thank you to The PICA Group for also giving this campaign a massive boost with your $10,000 cheque.

You can also help by Donating now. Your donation will go a long way to helping us to continually support young children living with a disability to access sport.

To all the parents and carers – thank you for sharing your stories with us.

To all our Sport Access Foundation applicants, thank you! We are so proud of all of you and we hope to continue to stay in touch and assist you to achieve your sporting dreams.

On behalf of all of us at Sport Access Foundation, we hope you had a happy and safe Christmas and New Year.

Katie Kelly OAM


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