Players acknowledging each other

Winchelsea Primary School and the Bendigo BFL league team went head to head in an action packed match on IDPwD day

Each year on the 3rd of December, International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is celebrated far and wide across the globe by the many people who support an active and inclusive community for people with disabilities.

We asked Manny Pimentel and Michelle Lucas from Scope’s Community Inclusion service about how they celebrated IDPwD day across Victoria!

IDPwD in Winchelsea

On IDPwD day, about 90 people packed into the little Globe Theatre in Winchelsea to hear music from people supported by Scope, and then watch the players from Bendigo play some top class balloon football. The Winchelsea Lions Club produced a magnificent BBQ despite an urgent run to the local butcher to top up on snags due to the large crowd.

Barwon’s quickly rising music sensations, The Rockheads, opened up proceedings and didn’t miss a note as people got up, danced and sang along. There were even some song requests from the crowd! When the multi-talented Rockheads went off to break in preparation for playing balloon football, The Sugar Bells from Ballarat took over and they were sensational. One councillor even said she couldn’t believe how much fun everyone was having and it was the best event she’d been to that the council had funded.

The balloon football went well too and Bendigo put on a fair dinkum spectacle for the crowd – if anyone ever doubts that balloon football is a “real” sport then they need to go and watch the Bendigo players. This time, they even made sure not to beat the opposition too badly. They are truly great ambassadors for both BFL and Scope and take their role very seriously. People from the crowd were even shouting their nicknames which was pretty awesome! A highlight was when they recruited world champion swimmer, Phoebe Mitchell, to join their team for a half and managed to dish off some passes to her that saw her score some goals.

Group photos of Winchelsea primary school students with Phoebe

Winchelsea Primary school students and world champion swimmer, Phoebe Mitchell

Then the Barwon team played, the Men’s Shed got a team together and the local primary school also put up a good effort. In the end, the last match was a mix of the best of everyone versus Bendigo and, of course, Bendigo won.

Bendigo team together in a group shot

Bendigo enjoyed the spoils of victory taking away gold at the BFL match

We believe a BFL record may have even been made – a participant joined in who was 91 years old and was involved in the Battle of Normandy. He performed very well and was really interested in the Geelong league.

Everyone put in a great effort, but Mel, Amy, Michelle, Daniel, Jade, Yousef, Mrs. Freestone and Callum deserve a special mention as do the ever loyal and enthusiastic DSWs from Barwon – Vickie, Chez and Jeff.

A Balloon Football League game in action

Teams battle it out for the win in the Barwon versus Mens Shed Balloon Football league match

Manny Pimentel

IDPwD in Bendigo

IDPwD was celebrated in Bendigo with a gathering in the Hargreaves Mall on Friday 2nd December this year.A gorgeous summer day provided the backdrop to a vibrant, fun, friendly event.The choir sung and school students performed circus acts on stage.Scope, along with other local services dedicated to providing goods and services to people with disability, were represented in the stalls around the stage and everything from Air Archery to Boccia and the Heathcote Marathon was on exhibition to have a go for free!

Vinnie Mammoliti playing Boccia

Vinnie Mammoliti, Victorian State Representative Boccia player enjoying a game of Boccia with Stacey Vanderkley from Boccia Victoria

A Scope stall provided information about services available

Sandra and Barry loved chatting to people about Scope’s services

The best part was the catching up of friends and acquaintances. The Mall and event organisers provided a really nice meeting place with a great vibe!

Michelle Lucas

If you’d like to get involved in celebrating next year’s International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), contact Scope’s Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre at circ@scopeaust.org.au or 03 9843 2000.