Teenager Raz lights up with pride as he describes how finally being actively involved in the sport he loves makes him feel alive
Raz now plays cricket with Busselton club, St Marys, a sporting passion made possible by a collaboration between APM Communities and the Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA).
The Come and Try short indoor cricket series was launched in Bunbury and Busselton to provide the opportunity to participate in an integrated modified cricket game designed by WACA and being used in other areas around the state.
The integrated short cricket series was the first stage of a longer-term project aimed at gauging interest and gaining evidence to help develop and promote inclusive opportunities for people with local cricket clubs.
“When I came to this event it was like another part of me came alive. Like the cricket side of me came back,” Raz said.
“It felt like I belonged somewhere.”
South-West WACA manager Rachel Norman said Raz came to the indoor inclusion league with a goal to join St Marys.
She said the indoor series started following a discussion with staff at APM about the need for disability accessible indoor cricket. The idea then snowballed into a series.
“The modified game of cricket that the WACA’s developed is very similar to the indoor game. So, it means that everybody gets a shot, everyone gets to bat, everyone gets to bowl, and they all rotate in the field,” Rachel said.
St Marys teammate Jonathon Lloyd is full of praise for Raz and how he has visibly grown more confident and happier since joining the club.
“He is out there, happy and enjoying himself, and improving in all sorts of areas. To see that happening is just great," Jonathon said.
“What he is doing out there is the essence of what we play sport for.”
Raz says he loves that the members of St Marys are friendly and supportive. The club is helping him learn all the elements of cricket.
“They’ have been coaching me in my batting, fielding and bowling – even though bowling is not really my strength, Raz said grinning.
He was grateful the NDIS had made playing cricket possible for him otherwise he would have stuck at home doing boring things.
“It has made me really happy.”
As part of the NDIS Partners in the Community program, APM Communities help people with disability in several regions in Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory to access support.
For more information about supporting people like Raz or accessing NDIS and other support for people with disability, contact APM Communities on 1800 276 522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.