A little bocce makes a big difference

Having fun: Six members of the Australian Foundation for Disability (AFFORD) enjoy weekly games of bocce at Club Marconi. Picture: Jeff de Pasquale

Having fun: Six members of the Australian Foundation for Disability (AFFORD) enjoy weekly games of bocce at Club Marconi. Picture: Jeff de Pasquale

THERE may not be any medals at stake, nor trophies on offer, but for a group of Australian Foundation for Disability [AFFORD] clients, a weekly bout of bocce at Club Marconi is bringing real rewards.

According to the Guildford-based centre's team leader Mirela Radman, the strategic nature of the game is providing many positives for the participants.

"We wanted a program that could be of some benefit to our clients and with bocce, they need to focus and concentrate on what they're doing," she said.

"So while it's not a physical sport, it does involve stimulating their minds — helping with their learning abilities."

The group, comprising between six and eight people who have an intellectual disability, spend one hour each Wednesday morning playing the game.

Their trainer and vice-captain of the ladies' bocce at Club Marconi, Anne Fioravanti, said the group enjoyed spending the day out.

"It's a really fun hour for them — they really enjoy themselves," she said.

"Having them play bocce for an hour each week also keeps them active and occupied."

AFFORD is a not-for-profit organisation that is dedicated to helping people with disabilities.

It provides day programs, skills development, transition to work training, as well as supported and open employment, and accommodation for its clients.

Ms Radman said it was important that the group were involved in the larger community.

"We also chose bocce at Club Marconi so that the community can see that they are there, as well as getting to know them," she said.

For more information about AFFORD, visit afford.com.au.

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