Left to Right Women Supporting Women — Mathilde, Jessica Richardson, Ellie Ennok and Kathryn Hurley present cheque to the Paralympic Committee for Provincial Outreach Programs in 2019.

Kiwanis Service Club have announced a donation of Vt300,000 to the Vanuatu Paralympic Committee.

The funds will be targeted at promoting parasport in the provinces, especially for young women living with a disability but also to support coaches working with parathletes.

The funds are part of the proceeds from the 2018 Ladies Melbourne Cup Lunch, a function held in November every year to raise funds for activities focused on women and children’s issues.

“The Melbourne Cup Ladies Lunch is an annual social and fund-raising event that is organized by the Vanuatu Kiwanis Club,” explains Kathryn Hurley, one of the hardworking organizing committee.

“We like to focus on initiatives that have a positive impact on the lives of women and children in Vanuatu – especially in the more remote areas of the country. We supported the Vanuatu Paralympic Committee with its Provincial Outreach Program in 2018 and are very pleased to be able to continue to provide funding support for the on-going program in 2019.”

The Paralympic Committee’s Outreach Program partly sponsored by Kiwanis has secured sports equipment to be held in the provincial centres for para sport training and seen Talent Identification days held on Tanna, Efate, Malekula and Santo.

The VPC Provincial Outreach Program has not only focussed on sports activities and raising awareness on the benefits of a healthier lifestyle through sport for those living with a disability but also on support for coaches.

Coaches out in the provinces are already training able bodied athletes so including para athletes in existing programs has proven to be a logical – and cost effective – step.

“By providing coach training on ‘integrated sport’ – that is sport sessions and events for people with a disability and able bodied athletes held at the same time – we can make best use of equipment and venues as well as our coach’s time, explains Margaret Macfarlane, President of the Vanuatu Paralympic Committee.

“Sport also improves the self-esteem for our parathletes, their profile in rural local communities and through participation, understanding of the issues they face.”

At the Talent Identification Day held in Luganville in December 2018, the VPC identified several new coaches but also Ellen Aru as a potential female coach for our Santo based parathletes.

She will provide integrated training programs and act as a role model for young women interested in sport.

In April, we will have a team of parathletes travelling to the Arafura Games in Darwin, Australia and Ellen will accompany them to gain experience in classification processes, coaching and managing teams at international events.

Identifying Ellen as a potential coach would have been impossible without the support of the Kiwanis Club.

Liz Pechan, Melbourne Cup Committee member concludes “We like to think of the Ladies Melbourne Cup Lunch as women raising money for women.”

Raymond Nasse

Sports Editor

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