Karen Taylor breaks down barriers in Merimbula

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Having returned to Merimbula last year, Karen Taylor has volunteered her time to develop an All Abilities Netball program, providing an avenue for people with a disability to play sport.

The need for a program like Karen’s has been evident in the response not only from players (a total of 12 in the first year including two boys) but the wider community including volunteers helping each training session, and corporate sponsors who assisted in getting the team to the All Abilities Carnival at the Illawarra District Netball Association in July.

Karen has welcomed the involvement of the Disability Trust who helped to promote and manage the team, while five volunteers give up their time each week to help make training a success for the team.

Each training session is prepared to ensure all participants can be involved, regardless of their physical or intellectual disability. Karen says “It’s lovely to see how much the participants grow in the program. It’s very rewarding.”

Australia Post One Netball Ambassador Clare McMeniman joined the team for training as part of their One Netball Community Award presentation, taking them through skills and game practice. “It’s really nice to get recognition and to have an ambassador down here to show the team a proper game of netball, it’s pretty cool,” Karen said of the prize.

Karen encourages any club or association wanting to start an all abilities program to “Just go for it! It’s lovely to watch them grow as person and interact with each other.”

Congratulations to Karen on winning an Australia Post One Netball Community Award. Karen received a Load & Go card valued at $1000 for the club and $500 for individual use, as well as a netball signed by the 2016 Diamonds team.

To find out how your club or association can get involved with the One Netball program, visit onenetball.org.au