Sale to Sea: Encourage active sporting activities for people of all abilities

At 8am on 13March, 2019, paddlers of all abilities set off for what would be an epic 3.5 days out on the water. This year marked the tenth anniversary since the first ever Sale to Sea Disability Kayak Challenge. Over the ten year journey, many memories have been made and fantastic stories can be described by anyone who has participated.

Over the 3.5 day Challenge, paddlers kayaked from the Port of Sale to the sea at Lakes Entrance, a distance of 120km. 

For everyone involved there is a personal significance for being there, with the inclusive and supportive environment assisting all to meet their individual goals. For some, this may be paddling for an hour a day, all the way up to completing the whole journey. During everyones involvement there is certainly a sense of belonging and connectedness whilst making new friends and ticking off personal achievements along the way. The 3.5 day Challenge is held every two years, with a One Day Challenge introduced in the alternate year which covers a distance of 30km from Bairnsdale to Metung. 

Sale to Sea Inc is a Not for Profit Charity that assists others to reach their potential, with a dedicated committee organizing not only the Kayaking event, but other inclusive events including many ‘Bundy Boogie’ dances, and golf events. All funds raised provide support to those within the Gippsland East community who have been affected by permanent or long term disability, assisting them to attain/gain an improved quality of life and independence.

Aims of the Sale to Sea Disability Kayak Challenge:

  • Highlight the capacity that people living with a disability have to lead an active life
  • Encourage active sporting activities for people of all abilities
  • To raise funds for families and individuals experiencing hardship as a result of a permanent or long term disability
  • Encourage those living with a disability to live life on their terms
  • To raise awareness of the importance of a fully inclusive society

The next Sale to Sea Disability Kayak Challenge will be the one day event to be held early next year.

Sale to Sea: Volunteers helping people with a Disability to reach their potential

Over the past 7 years, GippSport has been heavily involved in supporting a number of people with a disability to participate in the Sale to Sea Disability Kayak Challenge. Sale to Sea Inc. is a Not for Profit Charity that assists others to reach their potential.

The Challenge comprises kayaking from the Port of Sale to the sea at Lakes Entrance, covering a distance of 120km.  The new One Day Challenge has been introduced in the alternate year, and covers a distance of approximately 30km from Bairnsdale to Metung.  

GippSport has partnered closely with volunteers from the Sale to Sea Committee, who have shown excellent commitment to ensure everybody has the chance to achieve their own personal goals and participate to the best of their ability. 

The Challenge has recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary, and in that time co-founders, along with a dedicated committee, have endeavored to provide every option possible for community members to become engaged.

This has included up-skilling knowledge and qualifications of volunteer members with one volunteer completing their flat-water guide course, with another 4 volunteers currently undertaking the course. This has also allowed an improved experience for participant paddlers as course attendees are being taught proper paddling techniques and, most importantly, a number of water safety components.

Each year, in partnership with Wellington Shire Council and GippSport, the Sale to Sea Committee has facilitated a number of training sessions for participants in the lead up to each Challenge. Over the years, this has included sessions within a pool setting with qualified instructors so that participants can learn water safety and water familiarization. From there, participants have advanced to river and lake settings so that paddlers know what to expect in open waters.

Along with every training session, and the Challenge being fully supported by qualified and experienced volunteers, modifications have been trialed to kayaks and equipment to engage others in participation. An example of this has included pontoons being added to a single kayak for greater stability. This has allowed paddlers who are generally supported in double kayaks to have a go on their own, and experience kayaking in a way they never thought possible. Again, this is thanks to the hard work of the volunteer committee who enhance the experience of kayaking for everyone involved.

Pride in Tennis – The first of its kind!

A Gippsland Tennis Association has recently emulated some of the important work that the local football/netball community has been doing in regards to creating more inclusive club environments. After becoming inspired by the Gippsland Pride Cup, an annual event within the North Gippsland Football Netball League calendar which celebrates diversity and inclusion in sport, Traralgon Tennis Association Manager Susie Grumley started to think about how she could bring something similar to the local tennis community.

Suzie attended the 2018 Pride Cup forum, which was held in Traralgon, and after hearing the stories from LGBTIQ people and their families, she started to think about how the Traralgon Tennis Association could also assist in creating more inclusive sporting environments. “A lot of LGBTIQ people are faced with exclusion and bullying in their everyday life and this is even greater on the sporting field” states Suzie. “I believe that all members of our community should be able to feel confident and happy to participate in sport at any level without feeling that they will be excluded or isolated.”

With the support of GippSport, Latrobe City Council, AGL Loy Yang, Latrobe Regional Hospital, Tennis Victoria and Tennis Australia, the Traralgon Tennis Association recently made history by hosting the first “Pride in Tennis” event to be held in Gippsland. The event was divided into 2 parts – an education session, which was open up to the community, followed by a day of celebration during the Traralgon Challenger tournament. 

The aim of the education session, which featured Proud 2 Play and Pride Cup Australia ambassadors and other guest speakers, was to educate the community about diversity and inclusion in sport. The session saw 60+ people in attendance, from sports such as tennis, football, netball, cricket and soccer, and included discussion around how clubs can be more inclusive regardless of the sport(s) they play. 

On the Saturday following, 100+ members from the community gathered at the Traralgon Tennis Courts, where former Australian tennis star Jelena Dokic opened the inaugural ‘Pride in Tennis’ event.  The day was dedicated to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) community, and involved a range of panel speakers; including transgender athlete Hannah Mouncey, former Glengarry footballer Dean Sutton and Pride Cup founder Jason Ball; who all detailed their stories as members of the LGBTIQ community.

Tennis Victoria senior participation leader, Tanya Mason, afterwards stated that the Pride in Tennis event was the first of its kind in the sport. “It’s important for communities to understand that tennis is a sport for everyone for life, no matter your gender, your race, your sexual orientation or ability.” said Ms Mason. “The fences are there to keep the balls in, not the people out.”

Local sporting clubs. and associations, such as the Traralgon Tennis Association have the capacity to create a ripple effect of change in communities. These events are powerful vehicle to promote change and acceptance within our region.

To learn more on how your club or association can be involved in hosting a pride event, contact the team at GippSport on 5126 1847

Some relevant statistics…

  • 80% of all sports participants in Australia have experienced or witnessed discrimination on the basis of sexuality
  • More than half of all transgender people, a quarter of males and 10% of females avoided playing sports they would like to play because of their sexuality or gender identity
  • Nearly half of all sports participants aren’t out as sexuality or gender diverse to their sporting peers
  • While sporting clubs may describe diversity broadly, its implementation is usually narrow
  • Community demographics and changing social opinion drive commitment and resistance to diversity in sporting clubs
  • Individual champions within sporting clubs are common drivers of diversity

Gippsland Pride Initiative

In response to various community initiatives; including LGBTQI+ Suicide Prevention consultation efforts, state and national legislation and policy, Council health and well-being objectives and current community and media activities relating to the LGBTQI+ community in Gippsland, Gippsland Ranges Roller Derby are pleased to auspice the inaugural Gippsland Pride Initiative in 2019.

​Where the national average participation rate of LGBTQI+ individuals in sport is 2%, Gippsland Ranges Roller Derby club (with ~25% of our members identifying as LGBTQI+), are determined to be a part of a positive and necessary change in the conversation and the living experience for the Queer community in our region.

​So as part of our #FutureOfDerby Project Gippsland Pride Initiative are realising our potential as a sporting club and active member of the Gippsland community. Gippsland Pride Initiative aim to bring about a new initiative to provide visibility, engagement, awareness and celebration to LGBTQI+ Gippslanders.

The Gippsland Pride Initiative.

The concept is simple:

Tackle the barriers to inclusion through awareness/education

Engage with the community in a positive sporting context to encourage visibility and participation

Create a space of safety, celebration and socialisation independent of the sporting field.

A three-pronged strategy:

Community Education Session

Date: Wednesday, May 15
Time: 5.30 PM – 8.30 PM 
Venue: West Gippsland Arts Centre
Cost: Free 
Tickets: Click Here
Event info: Click Here

The Gippsland Pride Cup – Roller Derby

The First Roller Derby Pride Cup in Australia!
Date: Saturday, June 15 2019
Time: 10.00 AM – 2.00 PM 
Venue: Lardner Park
Cost: Tickets at the door for $5 an adult
Event info: Click Here

The Inaugural Gippsland Pride Gala

Date: Saturday, June 15 2019
Time: 6.00 PM
Venue: Lardner Park
Cost: $53 an adult or $529.80 for a table of 10
Tickets: Click Here
Event info: Click Here

For more information, please visit: www.gippslandprideinitiative.com

Youth Week sporting activities in Baw Baw

GippSport are partnering with Baw Baw Shire Council and Warragul YMCA Centre to deliver sporting activities during youth week 2019.

With the support of Warragul Basketball Association we will be hosting a 3 x 3 basketball tournament on April 10 & 17 from 10am onwards. 

Dodgeball will be on Tuesday April 9 & 16 from 10am – 11am

Programs are for youth aged 12 – 17 and cater for all levels of experience.

3×3 Basketball

Dates: 10 & 17 April, 2019
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: YMCA Warragul, 21 Burke St, Warragul
Cost: $2
Ages: 12-17 years old

Dodgeball

Dates: 9 & 16 April
Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Location: YMCA Warragul
Cost: $2
Ages: 12-17 years old

GET YOUR CLUB ACTIVE FOR APRIL

Active April is happening again and we’re encouraging all Gippsland clubs to get involved in the State Government’s active lifestyles campaign.

The Premier’s Active April is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to promoting healthy and active lifestyles by encouraging all Victorians to do 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

Now in its eleventh year, the initiative continues to help Victorians increase their physical activity. Over 120,000 people participated in activities run as part of Active April last year.

Active April is an excellent way for clubs to engage with their local community by offering an activity during April. My Local allows clubs to list their facility and events for the public to search and find what is happening near them.

Your activity can be something that your club runs regularly, or, you can offer something unique just for the month. Clubs can register their event by clicking here.

A range of marketing materials has been created to help to promote Active April at early learning centres, schools, workplaces, clubs and in the wider community. This includes information you can use in newsletters, emails, on your website and in posters. To access this information, please click here.

Campaigns like these are an excellent way for clubs to jump onboard a participation initiative that is communicated to consumers directly and the opportunity to tap into the various new markets of all age groups. 

To learn more about Active April and to get involved, please visit www.activeapril.vic.gov.au