Alexandra Wells - Westfield Local Heroes 2020
Inclusive sports program
Gold Coast Inclusive Sports Program
Caring. Passionate. Dedicated.
Alex Wells was just 14 when she founded a program to help children with disabilities participate in sport.
It wasn’t easy for Alex, who found it tough to access funding and convince adults to take her idea seriously.
But with the help of her school principal, who provided the venue and insurance, the Gold Coast Inclusive Sports Program came to life in 2016.
Now hundreds of children with disabilities are able to play sports, modified for their ability, for fun and fitness.
As an added innovation, Alex’s program encourages other young people to volunteer to support the athletes. This breaks down stereotypes and creates a culture of inclusiveness.
“The main focus and goal of the program is to educate the community that people with additional needs are not different to able-bodied people,” Alex says.
“We should be welcoming to everyone in our community.”
Despite the demands of a studying for a degree in journalism and having two part-time jobs, Alex finds the time to create training programs that develop gross and fine motor skills and encourage healthy eating and good sportsmanship.
She also helps train the volunteers, runs sessions and looks after marketing.
“I work closely with politicians and local businesses to help create a more inclusive community,” Alex says.
Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. The Gold Coast Inclusive Sports Program will use its grant to buy much-needed sporting equipment, jerseys, trophies and medals for the athletes.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here