|TASRAD is the peak sport and recreation body for people with disabilities in Tasmania. We provide information and support to recreation and sport providers to assist them to better include people with a disability. We also promote the benefits of participation to people with a disability. We are a non profit organisation who relies on state and commonwealth funding as well as membership and fundraising efforts. TASRAD is governed by a board and employs 2 part time staff.|
Sports CONNECT is an initiative of the Australian Sports Commission. It is designed to provide funding and support to National sporting bodies to develop a disability action plan for their sport. In 2003 6 sports were funded; these were Athletics, Basketball, Swimming, Tennis, Ten Pin Bowling and Yachting. In 2004, 4 sports were be funded and they are Surfing, Table tennis, Baseball and Softball. In 2005, the commission started working with Lawn Bowls, Cricket, Pony clubs / Riding for the disabled, and Golf. The 2006 sports are Netball, Shooting, Surf Life Saving and Rowing. The last sports to be involved in this project are Football (soccer), Rugby League, Rugby union and Volleyball. Case managers are have also been appointed to the National Sports Organisations for People with a Disability - Special Olympics, AUSRAPID, Deaf sports, Blind Sports and Australian Athletes With a Disability.
At the State level, as the Sports CONNECT Coordinating body, TASRAD supports the state sporting bodies to develop a state action plan. Initiatives that have come from the action plans include sport specific education modules to support clubs, administrators, coaches and officials to better include people with a disability and better communication channels to target people with a disability to participate in their sport. The main aim of the project is to encourage sports to take responsibility for the inclusion of people with a disability in their sport. Sports can do this by educating their clubs and providing opportunities and pathways for people with a disability. Partnerships with existing providers is very important.
Sports CONNECT is a fantastic project and suits Tasmania well. Due to the regional nature of Tasmania as well as the limited number of 'disability specific bodies' conducting their own sports, many people with disabilities have been forced to participate at the local level. Sports CONNECT means that people will begin to feel more included and will be encouraged to compete at their local level as more clubs will be prepared to include people with a disability because they will have a greater understanding of disability and will have the skills, knowledge and capacity to support the needs of individuals with a disability.