Sports come and try day for children of all abilities


In celebration of Children’s Week, the City of Hobart and Inclusive Innovations Tasmania will host a special event that welcomes children of all abilities on a day dedicated to promoting inclusivity and community engagement.

The Blind and Low Vision Sports Come and Try Day is set to take place on Saturday, 28 October 2023 at the scenic Cornelian Bay Sports Grounds from 10am to 2pm.

This event is open to all children and their families, and participation is completely free.

Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said these were special events for all in the community.

“Children’s Week is a time to celebrate the diversity of our community and to ensure every child, regardless of their abilities, has the opportunity to participate in sports and recreation,” Cr Reynolds said.

“The Blind and Low Vision Sports Come and Try Day is an excellent initiative that showcases the spirit of inclusion and diversity that Hobart is known for.”

The Blind and Low Vision Sports Come and Try Day offers a unique opportunity for children to experience a variety of sports and activities that are specifically adapted to accommodate those with visual impairments.

The event will provide guidance and support, allowing children to explore sports like cricket, Australian rules football, soccer and more.

It will allow participants to not only have fun but also learn about inclusivity, teamwork, and the value of diversity.

Dylan Gangell, who is visually impaired due to brain cancer, has represented Tasmania in cricket and is now branching out into other sports.

“Learning blind cricket has changed my life,” Dylan said.

“I would never have thought I could become a state representative player. My first National Championships was a great experience, and I can’t wait for the next year’s carnival.

“I’m now learning to play AFL, and some soccer too, with IIT’s sports sessions.

“The guys from AFL Tas come along and teach us the basics. It’s great fun for us, and them too, as they learn what it’s like to play sport with a visual impairment.”

Dylan’s mum, Rachael Steele, said it was great to see the impact sport had had on her son.

“Dylan was struggling with teenage life and his health issues,” Rachael said.

“But participating in IIT’s blind and low vision sports has been a massive positive influence in improving Dylan’s confidence and mental health.”

Lily Gatehouse, 7, is another using sport to build friendships and confidence.

“I do like netball, because my sister plays it, but I like kicking the AFL footy as far as I can,” Lily said.

“I think people who are blind should play sport because it’s fun and you meet new friends.”

Lily’s mum, Gemma Gatehouse, said such come and try days were invaluable for her family.

“As a parent of three blind children, we have found the blind and low vision sport days extremely beneficial,” Gemma said.

“These days provide Lily with equal opportunities as her peers to a variety of sports, a chance to build friendships with other blind children and a chance to increase her fitness in a safe and inclusive environment.

“It has also been great for us as a family to build connections with other families going through similar journeys to us.”

Hobart Welcoming and Inclusive City Portfolio Chair Zelinda Sherlock said the event aims to foster a sense of belonging and understanding among children.

“In Hobart, we believe in creating a city that embraces and celebrates the unique abilities of every child,” Cr Dr Sherlock said.

“The Blind and Low Vision Sports Come and Try Day is a shining example of our commitment to inclusivity, where all children can come together, learn, and grow as a community.”

Thanks to the support of the Rotary Club of Hobart, a BBQ lunch will be provided to all attendees, making it a fun and accessible day out for everyone.

No tickets or registration are required – just show up on the day with your enthusiasm and curiosity.

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