A grant from the Jobs Victoria Innovation Fund has enabled the creation of SPORTSWORK to provide a pathway to employment for young Victorians with disability.

13 June 2019

Research shows there is a link between participation in sport and increased rates of employment for people with disability. That’s why ECHO Australia and Basketball Victoria partnered to create SPORTSWORK thanks to funding through the Jobs Victoria Innovation Fund.

The program supports young people living with disability to build the confidence, skills and connections to help them gain meaningful employment.

Early in May, Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, The Hon Luke Donnellan MP, visited the State Basketball Centre to announce the funding for the delivery of SPORTSWORK and participate in a friendly shoot-out competition with program participants.

The program focusses on building workplace skills both on and off the court. SPORTSWORK participant, Mitch Stack, gave an overview of how the program runs. He explained, “our SPORTSWORK session starts at 12 o’clock, so from 12 o’clock to 12:59 we do an hour of theoretical work skills. And then the next hour with [coach] Kenny we do basketball skills.”

While building skills in leadership and teamwork, the program also to improves participants’ motivation. Program coordinator, Kate McConnell, observed that she can already see how driven they are.

She said, “I have some amazingly well-driven people that are going to put me through my paces because I need to get them work, they want to work.

“The hardest part is that interview stage when they’re nervous, so if we could host some employers here who want to come down, have a game of basketball, and then you can interview them afterwards that would just impress them. They’re confident because they’re in their element.”

The SPORTSWORK program is open to people with disability, injury or medical conditions, aged 16+ and looking to find sustainable employment.

Find out more about the Jobs Victoria Innovation Fund

Find out more about SPORTSWORK