Maffra Gymnastic Club continues to provide opportunities for people of all abilities to experience the joys of physical activity. Through the VicHealth Healthy Sporting Environments (HSE) program, the Victorian Access for All Abilities program and Gymnastics Victoria, the club has reviewed policies relating to being a more welcoming and inclusive club.

Maffra Gymnastic Club, with the help of GippSport’s Wellington Program Coordinators, Dawn Martin and Brenton Dinsdale, have worked their way through the Inclusion, safety and support module of the VicHealth HSE program. At the same time, the club has completed the Inclusive Club program through Gymnastics Victoria. According to Dawn their participation in the program has gone a long way towards educating their members and the wider community about ways they welcome all people to their club.

“People can sometimes feel intimidated when first participating with a club, which can lead to a negative experience. Maffra Gymnastic Club has changed its reception area, has an Information booklet for new members and a great newsletter to communicate with everyone throughout the year. They also offer a range of programs catering for people from 18 months to 70 plus years of age. Schools and other groups are also catered for. They are a regular contributor to the International Day for People with a Disability through ‘Inspired by the Lakes’,” Dawn commented.
As a part of the program, Maffra Gymnastic Club has made sure that members and their parents are aware of all club policies, methods of payment and acceptable codes of behaviour. They have also increased the range of their programs to cater for people of all abilities, the very young and older adults. The club has also joined the Good Sports program as a non-alcohol club to provide good role modelling for their members.
The President for the Maffra Gymnastic Club Vanessa Trail said that the program has been really beneficial for the club. “We want our members to have a healthy experience at our club, and feel that they belong. Being a part of the HSE program, and having completed the Gymnastics Victoria Inclusive Club program, has provided the club with the resources to educate members, coaches and parents about being a welcoming and inclusive club.”

The club was also successful in receiving a highly prestigious VicHealth Health Promotion Award in the ‘Building Health through Sport’ category in 2014.  For clubs wishing to become more welcoming and inclusive, additional resources can be found at Play by the Rules http://www.playbytherules.net.au/ and VicHealth ‘Everyone Wins’ resources https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/search/everyone-wins_clubs or by contacting any of the GippSport staff across the region.

For further information contact GippSport on 5142 3483/0429853385 or dawn@gippsport.com.au

Isaac Fiddelaers at Inspired by the Lakes

Isaac Fiddelaers at ‘Inspired by the Lakes’.