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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Autumn 2020

A fresh look for NDIS support We’re all in this together – a message from our CEO Myth busting the stigma of attending counselling Food matters

MEMBER AND CLIENT

MEMBER AND CLIENT SERVICES RECREATION SNAPSHOT At MSWA, we are consistently awed by the breadth of fun and ability-friendly activities our Customers undertake in their spare time. The advantages of physical recreation and the learning of new skills to mental wellbeing are well recognised. If you are considering taking up a new hobby in 2020, here are some Member and Client favourites to inspire you: DANCE There are a wide range of dance schools across WA that welcome learners with disabilities, including dancers in wheelchairs. wadancedirectory.com.au/specialneeds GOLF Empower Golf runs golf clinics and coaching across Australia to support disabled individuals returning or wanting to improve their golf. In Perth, Wembley Golf Course is home to a Paragolfer mobility device and other adaptive equipment, along with training clinics. empowergolf.com.au wembleygolf.com.au SURFING The Disabled Surfers Association gives people with varying disabilities the opportunity to have a safe, happy and dignified surfing experience. They invite you to go along and experience it for yourself at their Perth, South West or Great Southern branch. disabledsurfers.org/wa/ SAILING Sailability WA provides sailing opportunities for people with a disability regardless of their ability, mobility or circumstances. A variety of vessels are utilised, from small stable two-person dinghies to 20 foot yachts. www.sailabilitywa.com.au BEACH-GOING Many town and city councils – including Dunsborough, South Perth, Broome and Mandurah – have beach access wheelchairs available for use on their foreshores. Contact the local council or visitor centre to enquire. FISHING Trained and experienced volunteers from organisations such as Fishability can assist you to experience the joy of fishing using purpose-built motorised rods, reels and fishing rod holders. fishability.org.au PLAY Play is not just essential for kids, it can be an important source of relaxation and stimulation for adults as well. Western Australia has some fantastic accessible playgrounds to take your young children or grandchildren, including the award winning Harbour Playground in Rockingham, designed to maximise access and inclusion for people of all ages and abilities. Contact the local council or visitor centre to enquire. An MSWA Member boarding a dinghy in Bunbury. BOWLING Bowling clubs throughout Western Australia are social hubs that build and strengthen communities. Through bowls, club members are able to maintain their physical and mental health, build strong social networks, and experience a sense of opportunity, achievement and inclusion. Bowls WA currently runs a BowlAbility Program, hosted at the Kardinya Bowling Club. bowlswa.com.au/inclusive-bowls Recreation activities can sometimes be funded as part of your NDIS plan. Please contact our Customer Engagement team on 9365 4824 or customerservice@mswa.org.au discuss your options. to For a full list of accessible recreational activities in WA, please visit wadsa.org.au 22

MSWA MEMBER TAKE UP THE CHALLENGE OF GOLF PETER BROMLEY MSWA MEMBER MSWA Member, Peter Bromley, and coach, Richard Brain, on the driving range at Wembley Golf Course. I just have to share this one with you. It’s made a huge difference to my life, and for the better, which is a pleasant change when living with a progressive neurological condition – in my case MS. I’m talking about getting into golf. I never imagined this to be possible and reluctantly back in the 80’s, took golf off my list of things I could do and, like many, got on with living life and concentrating on the things that I could do. But golf was probably one of the few things that I really missed so, when I heard that Empower Golf were running clinics at Wembley Golf Course for people with disabilities and could also accommodate those in wheelchairs, I thought “let’s give this a go”. The first session was on the driving range and I was excited, fearful, but blindly optimistic that everything would be OK. The coach and staff were so helpful and encouraging – they had obviously done this before. I transferred from my wheelchair to a piece of equipment called the ‘ParaGolfer’ and was strapped in, below the knees and across the chest. The controls were like those of an electric wheelchair. I was moved into position in the tee bay, tilted to near vertical, shown how to hold the club and I faced the ball. Now it was all up to me. My first two swings were ‘air swings’. To the non-golfer, that means I missed the ball completely – but then I made contact. The ball left the tee at great speed, travelling a distance of what seemed like 300m but was probably more like 30m – but it was straight and made the right noise as the club hit the ball. Tears welled in my eyes – it had been 35 years since I last played this game of golf. I could have jumped for joy but couldn’t as I was strapped into this ‘ParaGolfer’ and had to settle for a cheesy grin - which lasted all day. Now the ‘ParaGolfer’ makes the whole thing possible for so many people with all different neurological conditions and levels of ability. Manufactured in America, it is purpose built, similar to a power wheelchair but larger, with two fat tyres at the front and one at the rear for turning. It also has similar controls, but has the additional function of tilting into the vertical position. It is also very stable which gives one confidence. Once you get in the swing of it, pardon the pun, the ‘ParaGolfer’ can be used on the course and even on the putting greens. If you have problems with gripping the club then aids are available. The golf clubs are also provided. The ParaGolfer was donated by Golf WA and the Town of Cambridge, who own and operate the Wembley Golf Course, and provide all the equipment, coaching, and the use of the golf range free of charge at their “Come and Try” clinics. The coach and staff at Wembley are incredibly professional and dedicated to helping us to achieve at this game called golf. They are constantly looking for more sponsors so they can acquire more equipment and introduce unique ways of doing things to make this gem available to everyone with a disability and wanting a challenge. With me it’s been a three way conversation between the coach, physiotherapist, and Curtin University physio students at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Neurology Outpatients, working to strengthen muscles and improve movement, range, and endurance. In the last 6 months I have improved physically and mentally and have a really good feeling about myself. Golf is now on my list of things I can do. I think I’m getting serious about this frustrating game of golf. I recently splashed out on a golf glove from the pro shop – now that is taking the game seriously. The Empower Golf website empowergolf.com.au is a good starting point to learn more about the clinics or a call to Wembley Golf Course on 6280 1300 to get you started – it’s worth giving it a go. 23

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