13 Sep Case Study – Kate and the Happy Valley Vikings
The Well Played campaign is a collection of unique stories of people with disability and sports clubs that embody inclusion. Created by Inclusive Sport SA, in collaboration with Give Media, the campaign aims to improve visibility and awareness within South Australian society of disability in sport and the benefits inclusion brings to both clubs and individuals.
‘Part of the Team’ is a video in the series that features Kate, a 34-year-old Goal Keeper for the Happy Valley Vikings Netball Club in South Australia. A keen netballer for most of her life Kate’s life changed suddenly last year due to a blood clot located in her lung. Kate had a cardiac arrest, which resulted in a hypoxic brain injury. In the weeks that followed, she spent time on life support and a further six months at the Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre.
After finishing rehabilitation, Kate wanted to get back into playing the sport she loved and to show her children if you put your mind to it you can do whatever you want. Kate rang local clubs in her area, including the Happy Valley Vikings, and enquired about if they would include a player with a disability within one of their teams.
The Happy Valley Vikings answered the call and have supported Kate in her return to netball this year. The club has created a modified training program for Kate and worked with the Association umpires to make sure she is supported during games with additional provision from sidelines without game rules being adapted. Kate’s team have also become a supportive network of friends who encourage and look out for her at games and trainings.
Kate’s perseverance and the club’s enthusiastic welcoming of her in their team and community was a major focal point and reason for her story being chosen for the campaign. Additionally the video aims to remind viewers that disability is a marginalised group that a person can join at any point in their lifetime.
Netball has helped Kate get back into her community and has built her confidence through a fun and welcoming activity and environment. Kate states sport makes her feel alive and that she loves contributing to a team as well as being a positive role model to her daughters.
Kate joining the team has also benefited the Valley Vikings with Kate’s Mother, who drives Kate to and from trainings and games, volunteering for time keeping and scoring duties during games.