Carers Week: No longer on the sporting sidelines

Sporting fun: Joe Orlandi with kids at Northcott Sports Academy. This new sports program gives parents and carers a chance to see kids with a disability shine.

Sporting fun: Joe Orlandi with kids at Northcott Sports Academy. This new sports program gives parents and carers a chance to see kids with a disability shine.

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During my time working in the disability sector I’ve heard a lot about the grief that parents and carers feel when their kids can’t join in on any sporting activities.

When they’re transporting their children without disability to sports events – and their child with disability is forced to miss out – parents and carers tell me they often feel a sense of guilt.

Hearing these stories, motivated me to start thinking about ways to fix this problem. 

In 2015 I was approached by an old friend of mine, Jerry Markoja. Jerry is an international wheelchair tennis player and also a qualified coach.

He told me that he was thinking of retiring from professional sports and was uncertain about what life after sports might look like for him.

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We discussed the possibility of creating a sports program for kids with disability and their siblings. Then the Northcott Sports Academy was born.

The program introduces kids to sports like tennis, soccer, martial arts, cricket and basketball.

The fun the kids are having is evident by the smiles on their faces and these are matched by those on the faces of parents who watch eagerly from the stands.

We’d love to get more kids involved and give them a chance to shine at Northcott Sports Academy so please feel free to email us at oakflats@northcott.com.au or phone 1800 818 286 if you think your child could benefit.

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