The fields around Caltex Park were a hive of activity on Thursday when the Disability League Tag carnival proved itself one of the real highlights on the sporting community calendar.
Last year’s inaugural carnival had 14 teams and was considered by all a huge success and organisers were left delighted on Thursday with 42 teams taking part in the fun and meaningful competition.
Disabled players lined up alongside their carers and family members on the field, and all produced some eye-catching play.
As well as the matches, there were countless tents around the grounds offering an array of services.
The NRL was also part of the day and former stars Nathan Merritt and Joe Galuvao made their way around the various grounds to help promote the game while Wellington’s former Paralympian Ben Austin was also involved.
Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service’s Jay Forrester was one of the many involved in the day and he said the success and growth was a credit to the organisers.
“Today is about the people with disabilities and carers and part of NDIS and Carers NSW and a lot of other organisations have come together to make today,” he said.
“You can see by the turnout with 42 teams its a positive thing not just for Dubbo but for surrounding regions and there’s a lot of visiting organisations and it’s a great thing the Building Kinnections committee has put together and we hope to continue it into the future.”
The day promoted inclusion with 24 teams featuring disabled players competing with and against 18 teams made up of carers and services.
Forrester said having so many services and community groups made it possible to meet the goals “of everyone”.
As well as that, it allows all to get out on the field and be active while also having fun.
“People with disabilities sometimes don’t get the camaraderie from playing with and against each other so it’s about building that camaraderie and showing we’re all one in together,” Forrester said.
Organisations and groups on show at the carnival included Gungie, Westhaven, NSW Carers, Life Without Barriers, Carewest, Northcott, Breakthrough, Challenge Services and Red Cross while there were also a host of others.
All organisers added no one was left out with many carers out helping those in wheelchairs up and down the fields, helping them score tries. Forrester added if the carnival continues to grow there is the chance it could become a regular weekend competition.