It is important that people with disability are allowed to contribute to the community. In Papua New Guinea, an innovative approach towards increasing the Shuttle Time workforce was taken, especially among people with disability and women.
Shuttle Time was delivered through the Team Up – Inclusive GymBad programme, the Australian government’s sport for development programme in the Asia-Pacific. Inclusive GymBad aims to remove or reduce the barriers experienced by people with a disability, particularly women and girls, to participate equally.
Inclusive GymBad focusses on developing leadership skills by delivering Shuttle Time and GymAbility coaching workshops targeted at people with disabilities, particularly women and girls. The goal is that people with disabilities, particularly women, develop the skills to deliver quality enjoyable, safe and inclusive GymBad sessions and, in doing so, become role models for participants with disabilities.
The Shuttle Time project in Port Moresby, PNG, has been delivered from March 2023 onwards. Shuttle Time tutor training took place with eight new tutors qualified to deliver teacher and youth leader courses. Since then, five of these tutors have helped deliver two teacher courses at a school and in the community.
Shuttle Time Coordinator Laurel Vagi notes that Shuttle Time has attracted participation through the Inclusive GymBad programme by delivering training convenient for people with disability to attend and participate.
“Our goal is to further extend these Shuttle Time training initiatives to additional communities and schools in the near future, with a well-defined plan in place to achieve this,” says Vagi.
“While attracting new participants on a weekly basis remains a challenge, we are fortunate to have dedicated regular participants who help by encouraging one or two individuals to join the programme. Despite the gradual nature of this process, we have witnessed a growth in our programmes within their respective communities, schools, and Para team training.”