Shane Jacobs is a volunteer coach for the Ballina Bears Cricket Club, a local organisation that supports children of all abilities to get involved in cricket.
The club runs an introduction to cricket program for children under the age of 10, with some of the youngest participants being six and seven years old.
The game is structured to allow each child to participate in all aspects of the game, regardless of their ability or skill level.
The club welcomes all children and works with parents and coaches to make sure anyone who wants to be involved can actively participate. Shane says many parents volunteer their time as team coaches and don’t have experience working with children with disabilities.
“All In! will definitely help our volunteer coaches, most of whom are parents. Some people haven’t had interactions with children with disabilities so All In! is a great tool to help make them more aware. I can definitely see our committee showing all our coaches the website and walking them through how to generate a report.”
“For us, it doesn’t matter whether a child is good or bad. Everyone gets a go and that’s how it should be. Our club has a long history of including disadvantaged children, Aboriginal children and children with disabilities.
“We recently had a young boy with a physical disability join our club. The excitement in his eyes when he played for the first time was unforgettable. We had made him feel like he was part of something. I never saw the other kids give him a hard time and everyone made him feel included. All In! would have helped us by providing some general advice.
“We also have a child with a hearing impairment in one of the teams.
“If you are a cricket tragic, but you can’t physically play, that doesn’t mean you can’t be involved. We can always find a way for children with disabilities to take part, be it as scorer or even a team manager when they are older. It’s the same for all sports. We believe the more kids we can get playing the better. Cricket teaches kids to build camaraderie.
“All In! is great resource for all sporting clubs to use to include more children with disabilities in the community.”