In July, two residents from our Oakleigh Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) made the trip up to Echuca to participate in a game of footy with Moama Rockets!

Tim and Bart are members of the Mazenod Panthers in Glen Waverly, an all-abilities football club that goes up against teams from around Victoria. They woke up bright and early on Saturday morning with great excitement – they’d been looking forward to this trip for weeks and they were going to make the most out of their time.

After a few hours on the road with their support worker Alex, the team arrived at their accommodation in Echuca and settled in for a cup of coffee on the deck. For a winter’s day, they reported beautiful weather and lots of sun, perfect for their upcoming game of footy.

The group made their way to Moama Football Ground in their jerseys and trainers. Tim and Bart started off with some stretching and warm-ups, and soon, they were on the green with their teammates and competitors.

The All-Access AFL game was a huge success, filled with audience cheers from the sidelines and an exciting array of talent from all players. They were briefly hit with light showers, but that didn’t stop them from giving their all and having a blast.

But their Saturday didn’t end there – Tim and Bart ate a BBQ dinner at a local restaurant then headed to a lawn bowls game with their footy mates. Inclusive, all-access community sport is vital for people living with disabilities. It provides a welcoming environment for friendships to grow and it empowers participants to achieve their own personal goals.

On their second day, Tim, Bart and Alex dressed up in their warmest clothes and went out for coffee and breakfast. They needed fuel for another jam-packed day in the regions!

The town of Rochester was the next stop – the group hopped on a bus and commenced their next adventure, grabbing another round of fresh coffee and a special gluten-free fudge from a local bakery.

Tim and Bart had an excellent time wandering around town, exploring a variety of old stores, museums and parks, breathing in everything Rochester has to offer.

In the afternoon, they enjoyed a scenic ride along the Murray River on a vintage-style steamboat. Before heading back home, Tim and Bart got to spend some more time with the football team.

Shout-out to Mazenod Panthers and Moama Rockets for empowering people with disability to engage in their community by creating opportunities that support social and personal growth.

This trip couldn’t have been possible without the guidance and encouragement of our Community Living department – thanks to the team in SDA and strong communication with the participants’ families, Tim and Bart were able to smash their personal goals and take a well-deserved holiday.