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Scope recently partnered with Hockey Victoria to develop an inclusive hockey program suitable for people with multiple and complex disability.

Scope is always seeking ways in which we can increase participation of people with disability in inclusive sporting activities and recreational programs in the community. Hockey, a fun and engaging sport, was identified as being an ideal sport to be modified to cater for all abilities.

With the support of an Access for All Abilities grant from Sports and Recreation Victoria, Scope teamed with Hockey Victoria and people with lived experience of disability to develop a hockey program suitable for people with multiple and complex disability.

New rules were created and translated into an ‘easy to read’ format, communication tools were designed, and skills sessions were planned. By the time the eight-week program commenced in March, volunteers had been recruited from Footscray and Altona Hockey Clubs and equipment had been sourced and modified to suit the needs of the players.

Clamps, rubber zip ties, velcro, and tape were used to attach street hockey sticks to wheelchairs and other mobility aides. Chime balls, which have a bell inside, were used assist players with vision difficulties. Key Word Sign cards on a lanyard helped explain concepts during skills sessions and volunteers had completed disability awareness training.

When the program finished in April, all the participants were hockey converts and keen to see the sport incorporated into Scope’s ongoing programs. As Deb, one of the participants said, ‘I thought the program was fabulous. It was very well put together. The chime balls made it easier for me to play. I like playing all the positions. My favourite part was getting the ball. I want to play to win!’

Now, thanks to support from local councils and hockey clubs, the Inclusive Hockey program is set to launch into other metropolitan and regional locations.

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