AAA Sport Ballarat named Initiative of the Year

Ballarat based group, Access All Abilities (AAA) Sport Ballarat have received state-wide recognition for their innovative work in the disability sport sector. AAA Sport Ballarat was titled ‘Initiative of the Year’ at the 2017 Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards, held in Southbank on Thursday night.

Michael Flynn accepts the award on AAA Sport Ballarat’s behalf 

AAA Sport Ballarat is a not-for-profit group which exists to provide introductory sporting programs for children with disabilities. The group gives local children the rare opportunity to participate in organised sport.

Founder of the group and mother of one of the participants, Kellie Tait was overwhelmed to find out the group had been recognised with an award at such a high level. “I couldn’t believe that our group would be nominated for, let alone win, such an award. It reinforces that all of the hard work we are doing is really unique.”

“Receiving this award is great but ultimately everything we do is for the kids. We just want them to have the opportunities to participate in the sports that they love, just like what every other kid does,” said Tait. “We want the community to know that there is sport out there for children with disability. Kids with disability play sport and we are here to support them do this, so please don’t be afraid to get involved.”

Tait hopes that winning this award will increase community awareness for AAA Sport Ballarat. “This award will be a fantastic way to advertise what we do and what we offer for Ballarat. Hopefully it leads to more people knowing about us and ultimately increases the amount of kids who participate in our sports.”

AAA Sport Ballarat founder Kellie Tait  

Tom McCarthy, Sports Central AAA Project Coordinator, said that the group is operating with a truly unique model, and believes that this is why they won the award. “The ability of the group to have partnered with numerous State Sporting Associations, Ballarat Grammar, local disability service providers and Sports Central is one of the major reasons they won this award. This model of operation is unlike any other across the state, and it has been incredibly effective at providing local children with a great variety of high quality, inclusive, sporting programs,” said McCarthy. “Hopefully other people from around the country learn from AAA Sport Ballarat and adopt this model so we can see a nation-wide increase in inclusive sport for children with a disability.”

AAA Sport Ballarat run all of their programs on Sunday mornings at Ballarat Grammar. They are currently five weeks into an eight week MiniRoos soccer program and are gearing up for In2Cricket later in the year.

For further information about the group and their sports please contact Kellie Tait on 0416 504 314.