Local sporting clubs are learning how to make their club environments more welcoming and inclusive to all, with the assistance of Valley Sport.

As part of the Access for All Abilities program, Valley Sport are offering sporting clubs the opportunity to conduct an Inclusion Checklist, with the club in future to receive information on how the club or facility could improve its accessibility and be more inclusive to all.

Participating club, Euroa Lawn Tennis Club completed the checklist and highlighted the importance of being aware of the small things clubs can do to improve inclusion. “We were surprised about how aspects of our facility might reduce access for people of all abilities. We aim to be inclusive to all, so the checklist helped us to become better aware of where we can improve.”

The checklist covers off things such as access to car parking, change rooms/shower facilities, toilets, signage, ramps and also includes how inclusive the club is to females and girls, families and welcoming everyone.

Almost one in five Australians have a disability, and research shows that compared with the whole population, people with a disability participate less than those without a disability.

“Access to facilities that support all is beneficial for everyone. It’s important to realise that access is not just specifically centred on people with a disability, it includes access for females and girls, parents with prams, the elderly, and those with other health issues.”

“We’ve engaged Tennis Victoria and Strathbogie Shire in the process as well as we want to use these checklists to highlight to them how their facilities could improve and we envisage that clubs making changes helps to grow their capacity and encourage membership growth which is what everyone wants – better participation in our sports.”

If your club is interested in finding out more information about the Access for All Abilities program, or completing an Inclusion Checklist, please contact the Valley Sport office on 5831 8456 or email info@valleysport.net.au