Special Olympics program creates hoop dreams
YOUNG people who live with a disability are learning how to play the game of basketball through a special program based in Jindalee.
The Special Olympics Western Suburbs basketball program is a weekly event which provides opportunities for people with an intellectual disability to learn the skills needed for the games and to participate in regular competitions.
Close to 60 athletes have signed up to participate in the training sessions, which are held every Saturday morning at the Jindalee State School hall.
Participants who attended the first training session on the weekend practiced how to shoot a basket, dribble the ball and pass to their team mates.
Chair of Special Olympics Brisbane Matt Whyte said the program was about ensuring there was an avenue for people with a disability to come and feel accepted while playing their favourite sport.
"The program is a great way to get people with a disability involved in a sport," he said.
"Each training session, the athletes will practice their skills and play friendly games against each other, just like any other team would do.
"What is great about the Special Olympics is that the program can accommodate with all disability levels, so no one has to miss out on the fun."
Basketball coach Gavin De La Cruz has been appointed as the new development specialist for this particular program after his years of experience in delivering other basketball programs to the south-west area.
Under his family business, GDC Fitness, Mr De La Cruz will be working hard to ensure the program is run as efficiently as possible.
He has brought in his own coaches to help him run the program, with their main priority being to develop the athlete's skill level so they can be introduced into mainstream sports.
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