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Tuesday, 26 September 2023

Wheelchair Sports comes to the Hunter for the first time

Wheelchair Sports NSW/ACT is launching its Road Safety and Disability Awareness program for Northern NSW this Tuesday, 26 September, made possible by a $120,000 grant from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.

Aiming to educate the community about the importance of road safety, as well as normalise living with a disability, the Northern NSW roadshow begins at PCYC Newcastle, Broadmeadow.

In the coming weeks and months, the roadshow will visit schools across the Hunter, including Hamilton South OOSH, Maitland Christian College, Whitebridge High School, East Maitland Primary School, and Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College.

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Executive Officer, Carly Bush, said the program provides community education in an engaging way.

“This type of program doesn’t currently exist in our region, which is why we are honoured to partner with Wheelchair Sports NSW/ACT to bring this important message to the Hunter,” said Carly.

“Participants are invited to have open discussions with the presenters about life with a disability, followed by a game of wheelchair basketball, which helps to cement learnings from the roadshow, as well as provide many with their first experience of playing adaptive sport.

“The roadshows are presented by people living with a disability, so not only are the roadshows a community education program, they also provide employment opportunities and a sustainable source of funding for Wheelchair Sports.”

Wheelchair Sports NSW/ACT Chief Executive Officer, Mick Garnett, said his team have been delivering road safety messaging to school students across NSW for years and this funding allowed them to reach a previously under-serviced community.

“We have identified a real need to spread our message to Newcastle and the wider northern region,” Mick said.

“Our two Sydney-based vans are operating at capacity, which means we have had to turn away bookings in the Hunter region. Without the support of Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, we could only service 6% of potential schools in Newcastle. That's not good enough.

“Thanks to this funding, we now have a van, equipment, and wages to support our Northern NSW Roadshows. This will supercharge our ability to reach young people with crucial road safety messages, as we all work towards zero.”

Two children playing wheelchair basketball

Charitable Foundation news