PlaySport – Australia's largest online sporting platform has joined forces with Disability Sports Australia (DSA) in a new partnership to foster and help promote ways to include people with a disability in sport and active recreation.
With almost 20% of Australians identifying as having a disability, PlaySport and DSA not only recognise the importance of sport and physical activity for the health and wellbeing of people with a disability, but aims to help remove barriers and ensure equality and inclusiveness within the community.
"We are delighted to partner with Disability Sports Australia" says Haley Blair, COO and cofounder PlaySport. "We share their passion to encourage those with a disability to get more active and with 55,000 sports organisations covering over 350 different sports on our platform, we are committed to making it easy for all Australians to discover, organise, play and follow any sport or activity anywhere in Australia."
"Thanks to PlaySport, more Australians with a disability will be getting more active more often for better health," says Jenni Cole, CEO Disability Sports Australia. "The addition of Playsport's next-generation inclusive software will greatly help and allow people to find sports and activities suited to their needs."
"There are many local sport organisers that have expressed eagerness to become more accessible to people with disability but don't exactly know how." says Blair. "Sport organisers on PlaySport are able to tick a box if they would like to express interest and then receive the necessary resources and information they need from Disability Sports Australia to participate. In this way PlaySport and Disability Sports Australia are strengthening both the access to and depth of sport experiences for those with disability in this country."
As Australia's largest online sporting platform, PlaySport's massive reach will also allow it to provide valuable data and insights to DSA and other bodies representing the needs of the disabled community. "Our aim is to provide the DSA, government, health and fitness industries with the research and data they need to inform future programmes and initiatives for the disabled community," says Blair.
PlaySport is the first online sporting platform of its kind in the world and aims to become the global provider of organised sports, connecting athletes from amateur to elite.
Question: What is PlaySport?
Haley Blair: PlaySport is pioneering a new way for Australian communities to reconnect through 350 + sport experiences. We are building Australia's largest online sporting platform that has 55,000 sporting organisations.
Our aim is to encourage everyday Australians to remain active by allowing people to discover, organise, play and follow any sport or activity anywhere in Australia at any time. In fact, our vision is to have 3 million Australians more active in 3 years.
Question: What inspired you to start PlaySport?
Haley Blair: Working as a psychotherapist I got to see first-hand the life-changing effects physical activity had on my clients. To me playing sport changes lives. It should be easily accessible to everyone and you are never too young or too old to start. I was also looking for new and exciting sport activities for my family and was frustrated by the lack of resources to find and organise appropriate sporting activities.
Question: Who is PlaySport for?
Haley Blair: PlaySport really is for everyone. For PlayMakers it can provide a full platform to run all their club, business or organisation by administration, sending messages and emails, collect and manage registration fees. For parents their entire family sporting life can be arranged in one simple dashboard to help coordinate training times, game day schedules and training grounds. For players you can search for local clubs and sports experiences in your area.
Question: What advice do you have for parents of children who don't play sport?
Haley Blair: Remember it is all about Play. Children love freedom and if they know they can try different types of sport without feeling pressured they will find the best activity to suit their needs.
Question: What do you hope to achieve with PlaySport?
Haley Blair: To get more Australians more active, as well as bringing communities and families together. As Australia's largest online sporting platform, PlaySport's massive reach will also allow us to provide valuable research, data and insights to government, sporting, health and fitness industries to help them better inform future programmes and initiatives for all Australians.
Interview by Brooke Hunter