GIO and the Equipment Library
Helping to create a level playing field for everyone
For the past 14 years, GIO has partnered with Wheelchair Sports NSW/ACT, creating several wheelchair sports initiatives to help ensure every Australian living with a disability has a pathway into sport.
One of those initiatives is the Equipment Library, where athletes and their families can loan a sports wheelchair without having to worry about the cost.
The Equipment Library does more than provide a short-term pathway into sport. It aims to create a sense of possibility for all Australians and the expectation that everyone can participate in sport.
We spoke to Coco, a young Australian wheelchair athlete about the Equipment Library. She said that being able to have the same opportunities as her friends is really important to her. The things she loves the most? “Getting to race against other wheelchair athletes and really test my speed,” she said. Coco's father, James, added, “A racing wheelchair is an expensive bit of gear…it’s thousands of dollars.” Having access to that equipment was essential in opening up opportunity for Coco. “It’s been fabulous. It’s made me realise what a huge social function sport plays.”
Another aspiring wheelchair basketball athlete Ahmad, 17, said that he’d never seen himself as an athlete. "But now his attitude is wanting to play more, and at a higher level. He aims to exceed his limitations and show the world what he’s capable of. And, of course, to have fun."
Louise Sauvage OAM, Patron of Wheelchair Sports NSW/ACT and legend of wheelchair racing, also reiterated how important the Equipment Library is. As she said, “It gives all Australians the opportunity to play sport, creating a more level playing field for all Aussies.”
GIO and Wheelchair Sports NSW/ACT believe sport should never be a privilege; it should be a rite of passage. That's why supporting services such as the Equipment Library is so important. And why GIO has been proudly supporting wheelchair sports for 14 years.
If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more about the Equipment Library, you can visit their website here.
Or if you want to learn more about GIO’s partnership with wheelchair sports across NSW and the ACT, click here.
I never really saw myself playing sports.
I love racing because it gives me an opportunity to have the same experiences as everyone else.
Disabled sport is really expensive. The Equipment Library has created, for Coco, social opportunities and competetive opportunities she would otherwise not have had.
It gives people access to wheelchairs. It's a great way that we can get the coomunity playing no matter what background you come from.
It gave me the ability to thrive in my own way.
I never thought that I would be at this level, It's just really incredible.
In partnership with GIO, Wheelchair Sports New South Wales ACT have established an Equipment Library which gives all Australians the opportunity to play sport, creating a more level playing field for all Aussies.
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