IDPwD Athlete Profiles: Alex

Meet AAA MILO cricket player, Alex Sargent. 

Fourteen year old, Alex Sargent is one of cricket’s newest converts. Alex became exposed to the sport this year through AAA Sports Ballarat and he now looks forward to playing it every Sunday.

AAA Sports Ballarat offer grassroots sporting programs for children with special needs and disability. Hosted every Sunday morning at the brilliant Ballarat Grammar sporting facilities, AAA Sports Ballarat provide an ultimately inclusive environment which promotes fun and friendship. AAA Sports Ballarat use inclusive coaching practices, modified equipment and a ratio of one coach to every two participants, to ensure all children are effectively supported and nurtured.

Alex simply loves sport and currently plays cricket, football, soccer and tennis, with cricket being his favourite of all. Alex explained that he loves every week at AAA MILO in2CRICKET because he gets to play his favourite sport whist spending time with the best coaches, Brad and Kellie.

Like many parents of children who have special needs, Alex’s mother, Neisha told of her son’s previous negative experiences in mainstream sporting programs. “A few years ago we enrolled him in Auskick but he just wasn’t up to the level of the other children. Unfortunately this resulted in him being excluded and eventually bullied” said Neisha. “We were hesitant to get Alex involved in sport again, but when we saw an all abilities program open up in Ballarat we thought we would give it a go, and now Alex absolutely loves it” she continued.  Alex is not left in the shadows at AAA Sports Ballarat, in fact his unique differences are embraced and celebrated.

Alex’s parents, Neisha and Blair believe that the extra coaching support and inclusive environment provided at AAA Sports Ballarat has significantly helped their son to develop his sporting abilities. Blair spoke fondly of Alex’s development in his short time at AAA in2CRICKET, as he explained that Alex was now able to effectively throw a cricket ball to hit a small target, which is something he couldn’t achieve prior to being involved.

Alex is a relatively shy young boy, but whilst playing sport he comes out of his shell to socialise. Due to being quite shy, Neisha and Blair were not sure how Alex would go answering questions during the interview for this article. To their surprise he was completely open and articulate throughout the entire process. Neisha and Blair credit his growth in confidence due to his involvement at AAA Sports Ballarat. They said he now takes this increased confidence into all fascists of his life.

When Alex isn’t playing cricket he loves trying other sports or watching AFL footy. Alex is an avid Geelong Cats fan, with tough midfielder Joel Selwood being his sporting idol. Unlike Joel, Alex doesn’t have a great desire to play in the AFL but he would love to one day umpire the game. But for now Alex simply enjoys his family trips to Kardinia Park to watch the mighty Cats in action.

Sports Central work closely with AAA Sports Ballarat and other organisations to provide inclusive sporting opportunities so that Alex and other people with disability can enjoy the sports that they love!

For further details about the AAA MILO in2CRICKET or any of AAA Sports Ballarat’s programs please visit www.aaasportsballarat.org.au.