Enable Lifestyle Support Celebrates International Day Of People With A DisAbility

Darrel Roche

Enable Lifestyle Support is the Anglicare organisation at Roma, western Queensland, which provides support services for people with a disability. Roma is a rural town of 7,000 people located 500kms west of Brisbane.

Enable was successful in obtaining funding from the Commonwealth and Queensland governments to celebrate 2005 International Day of people with a Disability, and organised a Paralympics Day at Roma on Friday 02 December 2005 to celebrate.

All the preparation, planning and organising of events was undertaken by the service users themselves as well as the support staff.

We were very fortunate in having some young Indonesian artists visiting Roma who were able to work with service users and support workers to prepare beautiful artwork, posters and paintings to celebrate the event. Forty-two works of art were put on display at the event.

A lovely range of furniture was also displayed for sale which had been made by service users at Enable's woodworking shop.

The Paralympics Day was held at the Roma Recreation Centre and comprised wheelchair races and obstacle courses for pushed and non-pushed wheelchairs, electric scooter races and obstacle courses, blindfold obstacle courses and identification tests, relay races and three-legged races.

All events were combined events for people with and without a disability and it was a realy 'fun' day for everyone. Teams were represented from Enable Lifestyle Support (Anglicare), the Neighbourhood Centre, Endeavour Roma-Lee, Pinaroo Retirement Village, Westhaven Retirement Home, Blue Care Nurses, Roma Middle School and Special Education Unit, State Government representatives, as well as the general public. The biggest event was the wheelchair sprint with 14 participants.

There were 2 lucky door prizes and 103 people were registered as attending the day, which was an increase on last year's attendance of 86.

We were very honoured in having Darren Thrupp open the proceedings and present the awards on the day. Darren is a Paralympian champion from the Roma district who has won gold medals at a number of International Paralympics including the recent games in Athens.

A number of volunteers also helped to make the day a great success and a barbecue lunch was provided free for everyone as well as soft drinks and nibblies throughout the day.

Nican provided Enable with a wealth of promotional aids to celebrate the day; International Day of People with a Disability stickers were given to each person and the recreation hall was decorated with hundreds of gas-filled balloons.

The Western Star newspaper covered the event and provided an exciting article with photographs about Enable's Paralympics Day in their Tuesday 06/12/05 edition.

Beautiful medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places as well as trophies were awarded by Darren Thrupp at the end of the day, including a trophy for the 'Loudest-Cheer Supporter' from the spectators' stadium.

The whole day was a wonderful success and Enable Lifestyle Support was thrilled to be able to participate in celebrating the International Day of People with a Disability, at Roma in western Queensland.