True Stories: Ryan Kiddle – Combine my skills and love of sport

Ryan-KiddleIf you had asked me 10 years ago if I would be working in the disability sector, my answer most likely would have been no. I grew up on the south coast of NSW and people with disability were not a big part of my life.

I was studying for my Bachelor of Education at the University of Wollongong with a focus on Physical Education, at the same time I started as a casual with Sport & Recreation Services at The Disability Trust. On my first day I was awestruck and new to it all, but today I’m one of the managers and look after a team of 75 casuals and 5 permanent staff.

The service, which was established in 1993, provides sport based programs for children, teenagers and adults with intellectual, physical and or sensory disability in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands. These programs run during and after school and also during school holidays.

There is no other service out there that uses a model like ours and I love that I can combine my skills and love of sport to do my job. When I get out into the programs I assist the participants to learn and try new skills through a number of activities and games, and I also connect with their families and carers.

As we have a number of different programs that are funded by various funding bodies and corporate sponsors, I also provide feedback and reports to them regularly.
One of my other responsibilities is to recruit new staff, most of whom start out with little or no experience in the disability sector. We look for people with initiative, enthusiasm and some experience in sport, and from there we train them up one on one.

Not one day goes by that I don’t want to go to work. I’d love to see our service go state wide because it has such a positive impact. We try all different sports and activities with our clients and they love it – we focus on every individual’s ability and they are happy to give everything a go!

Ryan Kiddle

Manager, Sport & Recreation Services

The Disability Trust

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