Media/Sydney Swans fly the coup for kids with disabilities

Sydney Swans fly the coup for kids with disabilities

Players take break from pre-season training to run special AFL clinic at JJ Cahill Memorial High School

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Sydney Swans fly the coup for kids with disabilities
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The Sydney Swans are taking time out of their busy pre-season training schedule to help foster social inclusion of high school students with disabilities.

Swans players Harry Marsh and Ryan O’Keefe will today run a special AFL training clinic for students with and without disabilities who attend JJ Cahill Memorial High School at Mascot.

‘It will be a great chance to have some time out from our tough pre-season training regime and instead put our energy into helping develop sporting skills in teenagers, including those with a disability’, said Ryan O’Keefe.

‘Sport is a great way to make friends, feel healthy and stay happy, and we’re looking forward to sharing some of our secret training tips with these kids.’

The training clinic is part of Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s Social Inc. program which runs in numerous high schools and aims to break down social barriers often faced by students with a disability.

Natalie Bishop, who runs Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s Social Inc. program, says participating in sport helps teenagers build self-esteem and build common interests, which in turn help promote social inclusion.

‘The Sydney Swans have been ambassadors of our Social Inc. program since it was launched last year and we are delighted some of their players will be passing on fitness and AFL pointers to the students from JJ Cahill’s special education support unit as well as the wider school population.

‘All the students, including those with a disability, will no doubt develop some Swans-style manoeuvres which will come in handy during friendly AFL games throughout the year’, she said.

Joining the Swans players at the coaching clinic will be the AFL’s Daniel Borzuola who has cerebral palsy and last year ran AFL programs for children with a range of disabilities.

Daniel knows first-hand the benefits of sport in promoting social inclusion.

‘I discovered during my early teenage years that sport is a great equaliser’, Daniel said. ‘Teenagers with common sporting interests and passions have something to talk about, and once the conversations start, then social inclusion is underway.’

Released on 11 Feb 2013