Inaugural Integrated Sports Festival Welcomes All!
This Friday (2 February), a groundbreaking event is set to take place at Walter Nash Stadium in Taita, with the Inaugural Integrated Sports Festival!
The Inaugural Integrated Sports Festival is a unique event that caters to both disabled people and others, giving them an opportunity to experience a range of integrated sports.
Integrated sports offer adapted versions of mainstream sports, ensuring diverse participation and allowing individuals of all abilities to play together in teams. Game rules are customised to suit the players.
From 1pm, people will get to participate in four integrated games at the festival: Walking Basketball, Walking Football, Sitting Volleyball and Walking Rugby.
The concept for this festival was initiated by Neelu Jennings in collaboration with Capital Football, Wellington Rugby, Wellington Volleyball and Capital Basketball.
Drawing from her personal experience as a person with a disability, Jennings recognised the limited options available for disabled individuals in choosing sports and playing partners. She also noticed a gap in inclusive sports teams, often characterised by competitiveness that might deter those seeking a more casual and enjoyable experience.
Walking Football, which ran successfully for two seasons last year, emerged as the lengthiest among all sports, gaining positive feedback from both disabled individuals and members of the wider community.
Blair Duncan from Capital Football expressed satisfaction, stating, "It has been great watching how much everyone enjoys the game. We will definitely continue offering this game and hope more people will get involved."
The festival is scheduled to run from 1pm to 4pm on Friday 2 February, featuring all four integrated games for anyone interested in participating. The day will conclude with a BBQ, providing an opportunity for attendees to unwind, socialise and forge new connections.