Alberto Campbell- Staines and Andrew Dunlop will be centre stage in Brisbane at the 2019INAS Global Games for elite athletes with an intellectual impairment in October this year.
Last week they shared their stories with students of the Lord Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council (LMYAC) who act as representatives of their school and community and are a voice for raising issues or sharing ideas that affect young people. The students are encouraged to provide feedback and give their opinion about Brisbane City Council policies, local laws, services and programs that affect young people.
So while the Global Games will showcase inclusivity on the sporting fields, a discussion on the concept of what it means to be inclusive in Brisbane, particularly for young people, was opportune.
Lord Mayor Councillor Adrian Schrinner said that “ Having a focus on the INAS Global Games at the meeting was a good opportunity for students to understand more about intellectual impairment, to think about inclusivity from a different perspective and to become advocates for the INAS Global Games.”
Alberto is a champion athletic sprinter who has represented Australia at three previous Global Games winning a bronze medal in 2015 and is aiming for gold in that event in his home town later this year. Alberto told the group that “Athletics has given me the chance to be a champion. When I run, I feel free and I know I am good at it. I run hard, follow through and finish strongly and hope I win.”
Like all elite athletes, Alberto has a driving goal of running the 400m under 49 seconds. “I am running 49.44 so that is my goal for the Global Games later this year,” he shared.
Andrew, who is an Australian basketballer, explained that playing basketball was an outlet where he could be in a place where he can not only have fun but achieve. “I feel good playing basketball and that’s when I play well. I also enjoy being able to share my experience with other young players who have learning difficulties like me. And that makes me feel proud I am making a contribution.”
Like most elite athletes, Alberto and Andrew were surrounded with several students during the morning tea break seeking sporting tips. “A boy told me he is running 51seconds for the 400m and what tips did I have for him,” said Alberto who happily exchanged ideas.
Showing the LMYAC participants that athletes coming to Brisbane for the Global Games will compete, succeed and prove that intellectual impairment is no barrier was a message that all of the students will enthusiastically now take back to their schools and communities.