Swimming great Kieren Perkins OAM to headline sports symposium
  • Thursday 05 May 2022

More than 200 disability sports industry professionals will join the inaugural Sunshine Coast Sports Symposium at the University of Sunshine Coast (USC) on June 15-17.

Presented by Disability Sports Australia and proudly supported by Sunshine Coast Council and USC, the National Disability Sports Conference on June 16 will headline the event bringing together leaders in sport, disability, education, allied health, government and community.

They will discuss the importance of collaboration to break down the barriers to sport and physical activity participations of Australians with disabilities.

Sunshine Coast Council Economy Portfolio Councillor Jason O’Pray said the Sunshine Coast Sports Symposium would highlight the Sunshine Coast as a major destination for sports training and competition.

“It will be a great event for networking opportunities among sporting teams, clubs, industry and community; and educate, engage and promote the Sunshine Coast sports industry to key decision-makers to facilitate valuable learning and research outcomes,” Cr O’Pray said.

“And with the theme of this inaugural event focused on inclusion in sport, headlined by the Disability Sports Australia National Conference, fellow Councillor David Law and I are looking forward to attending and participating in the conversation.”

Sunshine Coast Council Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said hosting the national conference would be a real opportunity to connect and create conversations to influence all levels of government and enhance council’s ongoing plans to enable more people with a disability to be more active, more often, across our beautiful region.

Planned activities include access to industry leaders and networking opportunities for local, state and national organisations, plus a guided tour around USC’s multi-faceted sporting precinct.

The VIP tour will showcase USC’s state-of-the-art sporting facilities, performance critiquing resources, medical research capabilities and the advanced technology on offer at the campus.

A wheelchair rugby celebrity match and cocktail function on Wednesday afternoon will offer the opportunity to connect with new and old friends.

University of the Sunshine Coast Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Tim Wess said USC was excited to host the inaugural national symposium and work with other major partners to shine the spotlight on disability sports and inclusion.

“USC is committed to helping create and facilitate equitable access to all levels of sport and physical activity through our research, sporting opportunities for para-athletes, partnerships, inclusion activities, integrated learning and purpose-built sporting facilities,” Professor Wess said.

“We are looking forward to showcasing our high-performance sports program and the talents of USC athletes and para-athletes and their outstanding achievements in national and international sporting arenas.”

A Sports Talk - Industry Breakfast will be held on June 16. The panel of speakers - Dr Mark McKean Head of Physical Performance in High Performance Sport at USC, Murray Elbourn CEO of Disability Sports Australia and USC Lecturer in Law and Chair of Sunshine Coast Sports Simone Pearce – will each share valuable insights and experiences.

Australian Sports Commission CEO Kieren Perkins OAM and new Brisbane 2032 Board Member and International Paralympic Committee member Robyn Smith, who is also an Australian member of the International Paralympic Committee Governing Board, are both keynote speakers at the conference, which also features USC’s Swimming Paralympian Exercise Physiologist Blake Cochrane OAM.

The symposium will be held in USC’s $24 million indoor sports stadium. This nationally accredited, fully air-conditioned facility seats more than 3000 spectators and caters to a range of sports at all levels of competition, including basketball, futsal, netball, badminton and volleyball.

The conference is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Government under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Live and online tickets are available via this link https://events.humanitix.com/sunshine-coast-sports-symposium-and-dsa-national-conference?c=website

For more information on the DSA National Conference program, visit https://www.dsanationalconference.com.au/program