Annemarie has worked in Sunbeam for 10 years teaching sports.
A lot has changed over the years.
Service-users now use public gyms and interact in the community more.
In my time working in SHS over the past 10 years I have seen the approach to sport and recreation change a lot. The RT students whom I support are now members of private / public gyms and leisure clubs or just pay as you go costumers, where they take part in public classes, swims, use the gyms and leisure facilities. This has evolved from a time not many years ago where we used our own gym, where no public accessed and where we block-booked the swimming pool, again not mixing with the public.
I can see daily the regular interactions between services users and the staff at the sports and leisure club facilities and the general members of the public. It’s great to see that nobody lets “disability” get in the way of using these facilities. There’s no “special” treatment as such. The services users make their way to the facilities, pay their memberships/ pay as you go depending on the facility they’re using. There is a huge increase of visibility of service users out in the community, and they are just getting on with the normal business of getting and staying fit, or maybe having a leisurely relax after a tough days’ training in the day service.
I’m glad to part of this move to inclusion of people with disabilities in such an important part of the daily lives of a huge part of or population.