Gymnastics Victoria are proud of having so many committed coaches, judges, volunteers and administrators across the State. We will be featuring Hero of the Month profiles – you can nominate a coach, judge, volunteer or administrator to be featured by clicking here .
Deanne Stark is the Kindergym Coordinator at Werribee Gymnastics Club. Over the past 10 months, Dee has championed the club's inclusion focus to introduce a number of new programs and initiatives which focus on ensuring gymnastics is accessible to the broader community.
In Term 2, Dee and the Werribee Gymnastics Club pioneered a partnership with local allied health specialists, Creative Steps, to launch 'Active Gymnastics' - an occupational therapy program delivered in the gymnastics setting for pre-school aged children with Autism. Following on from the success of this program, Dee has utilised the September School Holidays to pilot a new program, 'ASD Play Gym' which provides families with children aged 3-7 years who have Autism to explore the gym in an unstructured way, building their confidence in movement and social skills through play.
In addition to her work with Autism community, Dee took the initiative to deliver gymnastics at an All-Abilities Sport Day in Term 2 for adults with a disability. Through her involvement in this event, Dee was able to foster a relationship with the Annecto Disability Service and Leisure Networks organisation, and in Term 4, has launched a weekly program for 10 adults with a disability at the Werribee Gymnastics Club.
Dee's commitment to inclusive participation has played a significant role in the establishment of several innovative programs and initiatives at the Werribee Gymnastics Club in 2018. Her ability to foster relationships with the participants she works with is largely in thanks to her enthusiasm, energy and passion for working with the community.
Dee should be commended for the hard work she has put in to broaden the community's perspective of gymnastics as a sport and demonstrate that gymnastics really is a sport for everyone!
Congratulations on a fantastic initiative Dee!