Adapting to the challenge – Newcomb Power All-Abilities Auskick

On the Wednesday afternoon of the first Newcomb Power All-Abilities Auskick session, Ollie’s mum Alicia rang the club’s junior coordinator, Scott Smith to ask if there was still an opportunity for Ollie to join. There was, but after talking to Alicia for about 5 minutes, Scott wasn’t too sure if Ollie would attend.

Scott was pleasantly surprised later that afternoon when Ollie did arrive for Auskick, although Scott’s usual greeting of a fist pump was denied.

Ollie checked in and received his club training top along with all the other participants. Ollie had a couple of school mates participating so he was happy to join in the session. When they finished for the afternoon, the club presented all the participants with a football.

Later that night, Scott messaged Ollie’s family to see if he had enjoyed the session. They had a problem. Ollie had enjoyed himself so much he didn’t want to take off the t-shirt!

The next step was for Ollie to turn up to the Sunday Auskick sessions. Ollie came through and even brought along grandma and grandpa to watch him participate. He loves the drills and the adapted games. Ollie didn’t last the whole session, but he had done enough to earn Star of the Week plus a packet of cards. A pretty great achievement!

As the weather got colder, a new set of challenges arose and together they found new ways to adapt. Ollie wore gloves to keep his hands warm outside. When it rained and the group moved inside, Ollie put on his earmuffs to dampen the noise. Together, they faced each new set of challenges and adapted.

Then the group received some exciting news. They had been invited to participate at half time at the North Melbourne versus Geelong at GMHBA Stadium!

Mum put in a great effort getting Ollie prepared by using a story board and the club asked if they could implement some different rules to the standard AFL Vic. Instead of a traditional game, they ran drills that the kids love. Together, they adapted.

It was the first game Ollie ever attended. Without the help of the Geelong Cats, the Sensory Room and Sensory Packs, this may never have happened.

So many kids walk away from sport. Not because they don’t like it, but because they need clubs to adapt to support their inclusion. Leisure Networks celebrates Newcomb Power Football who are adapting and creating opportunities for more people to connect with their community – well done!

Leisure Networks respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands and waters of Australia. We are committed to inclusive communities.