Townsville City Netball Association (TCNA) has brightened the lives of a group of aspiring disabled athletes from Cootharinga North Queensland through its new netball skills and transition program.
The eight-week course was completed last week with participants competing in their first game of netball and watching their first Lorna Jane Queensland Firebirds matches over a morning tea.
TCNA Development and Participation Officer Adriana Boske said the final session capped off two months of exciting development among the group.
“The group became more involved as the program went along and gained a lot of confidence,” Ms Boske said.
“It was amazing. I loved my days with them. It was often hard work, but it was really enjoyable and satisfying.
“At the start of the program you’re not sure how far you can take them – we had participants who had never really caught a ball before. To go from that to playing a game of netball is amazing. Seeing that transition from the start to the finish was just the best.”
Cootharinga Support Worker (Skills and Transition) Lauren Russell said the program had a huge impact on the participants’ confidence and self-esteem.
“The group saw the rewards instantly in applying the skills they were learning,” Ms Russell said.
“They enjoyed being active and the fun drills They really enjoyed working together and it helped them to get to know one each other better.
“Being cheered on by their peers was great for self-esteem. They went in really apprehensive but came out with so much confidence. Some of the participants who were reluctant to get involved at the start became the most eager.”
Ms Boske said the participants would return for a second eight-week block after the September holidays and she was looking forward to seeing how far she could take them.
“Being involved in the community is very important to Townsville City Netball Association,” she said.
“We’re planning a come and try day (for other organisations with a similar goal) in November and will start another block with Cootharinga shortly.”