Three cheers for team

December 01, 2016

Active group: The Verney Rd Dragon Cheerleaders (l-r) James Bezzina, Tessa Hayward and Taliah Fraser lift Phoebe Murphy while their teammates watch on.

Verney Road School’s cheerleading team will be on stage for three performances at the International Day of People with Disability celebrations from 11am tomorrow at Queen’s Gardens in Shepparton.

The school’s cheerleading team embodies the message of this year’s IDPWD, which is about promoting team sports, health and physical activities for everyone.

The Verney Road Dragons cheerleading team of 12 will share the stage with school principal Janet Kirkman, who will be the guest speaker.

Cheerleading coach and teacher Kelli Dodman said the cheerleading program was run as part of the middle years’ ‘‘up and out’’ program, where every student chose an activity to participate in that promoted joining a group and living a healthy lifestyle.

‘‘At the beginning of the year the students were self-conscious and wary of performing in public. They didn’t think they would be able to learn or remember steps,’’ Ms Dodman said.

‘‘Since then, they have competed at Victorian State Championships of the Australian All Star Cheerleading Federation and performed at multiple school assemblies.

‘‘The students train for an hour and 45 minutes every week and are puffed by the end of it, and are also getting great strength training.’’

Tomorrow’s activities will celebrate progress in breaking down barriers, opening doors, realising an inclusive society for all and the achievements and contributions of people with disability.

The event also offers a number of all-abilities activities, including wheelchair basketball, an all-abilities AFL football demonstration and drills, musical performances, taekwondo and a free barbecue cooked by Mooroopna Lions Club, with additional food provided by Lutfiyes Shish Kebab.

The International Day of People with Disability celebrations are held in partnership with many local organisations including council, RIAC, Verney Road School, Vision Australia, ConnectGV, Shepparton Access, Valley Sport, Mooroopna Lions Club, Department of Human Services (DHS), FamilyCare, Word and Mouth and Aquamoves.

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