By Jane Britt
President, Achilles Brisbane
On behalf of our members, I am excited to announce that Achilles Brisbane was founded today.
Achilles Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to create an Australia where people with disabilities can enjoy the social, recreational and health benefits of an active lifestyle. We facilitate training and participation in running and walking events in an inclusive, supportive social environment where people with disabilities can achieve life changing goals with the assistance of guides.
Achilles Brisbane is joining the Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne chapters of Achilles Australia and the many other chapters of Achilles International.
A unanimous vote at the inaugural meeting led to an historic milestone for sports accessibility in Brisbane. Achilles Brisbane is to be formally incorporated under the leadership of President Jane Britt, Treasurer Birgit Rainbird, and Secretary Barbara Clarke, and already enjoys the support of several Brisbane parkruns, the Brisbane Road Runners Club, and the Intraining Running and Triathlon Club.
Barbara, an athlete with vision loss who joined our informal running group last year, says the formation of Achilles Brisbane is exciting: "It will make exercise and participation in events a reality for people with a disability that currently struggle find the funds and/or an exercise buddy to help them. It opens a whole new world of opportunity for people with a disability to fully participate in their communities.".
Achilles Brisbane connects individuals with disability with guides to pursue activities such as walking, running, tandem bike riding, rock climbing and many other activities. This is a step towards empowerment and independence for many people who may have previously felt unable to participate in these community or individual activities.
Achilles Brisbane will use membership fees, corporate sponsorship, grants and fundraising to financially assist its members with a disability with entering official events with their guides.
The formation of the association formalises the dedicated informal work undertaken in Brisbane over the last year in supporting vision impaired athletes with guides, the goal being to expand this work to all athletes requiring assistance.
For more information please contact Achilles Brisbane via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month, we not only applaud, but also sadly bid a temporary farewell to our February recipient, Simone Albiston. We received a heartfelt nomination that read:
"Simone is a great person who is passionate, thoughtful and humble. She has assisted me to get on with my life, and taught me how to slow down and relax. She gave me opportunities to learn and assisted with tasks beyond her running responsibilities. She is a truly caring person who is always smiling during times of struggle. I have always had the idea to live with passion and I found this in her, I am so grateful for her friendship"
Simone has donated her time to develop personalised training programs for our athletes in preparation for running events as well as providing transport to and from Sunday training. We will miss her immensely as she heads overseas seeking new adventures. Thanks for everything Simone! We look forward to hearing all about your travels!!!
Pictured: Simone, third from the right, at her farewell dinner with some of the Achilles crew.
Our mission is to enable people from all walks of life, including those with physical impairments, to enjoy the health giving benefits of walking and running in a supportive, social and encouraging environment.