Angela – The Surprise Olympian

7 August 2018

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is nearing its projected 2020 completion date after initially being tabled in parliament in 2011.

The ACT was one of the first jurisdictions to agree to the launch, and now over 6,000 people in the Territory access the NDIS.

BCS participant Angela said “I heard about BCS through my provider, before they got my plan going for the NDIS.

“The way the NDIS has changed my life is through my social skills, in talking with new people and gaining new friendships.

“With the NDIS you’ve got more choice and control … you can say ‘no, I don’t want these services’. You can individualise it”.

Before accessing the NDIS, Angela relied on her High School services, but after graduating she and her family began investigating other options, and in just a few short years she has gone through an incredible transformation.

She first came to BCS to learn self-defence and build her social network.

This month, in what Angela said has been part of a very good year; she secured a job in administrative support at a Government department.

Angela said “I’m starting to gain more confidence in talking to new people, having BCS as a base.

“It’s a safe environment where you can make social mistakes, and you won’t be judged. That aspect has really helped me be more social at work, in talking to colleagues, because I’ve had the practice here”.

But it’s not just a new job that has Angela so happy. Only a few days after hearing the news about her new position, Angela found she had also been selected to represent Australia at the 2019 Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi. She will be playing Basketball.

Angela said she didn’t think this is where she would be when she started to play.

“Mum was trying to get me into a social sport, and then my friend asked me if I’d ever thought of coming to play basketball”.

Angela started playing through Basketball ACT in 2015, just as an Ivor Burge team, for people with an intellectual disability was created. She will be heading to Newcastle in August where she will meet her Olympic team and learn how they all play together.

Angela said “it’s been quite a year. The job is very supportive, they’re happy for me to go to Abu Dhabi, which is really good considering I’ve just started”.

Even though Angela has a medical condition which can make playing sport uncomfortable and even painful at times she said it didn’t stop her.

“Through sports I don’t really notice it; it just has its moments. I’ve got ankle braces for when I do sports, because I can be running and just fall. I know some disabilities can limit you but you shouldn’t be afraid to use bracing or other things that make it easier to do the things you want”.

BCS NDIS liaison coordinator Masia said “it will be sad to see Angela go after having her here for so long, but I am so proud of her, and she is doing so well. It’s been great to watch Angela grow more confident, and walk a little taller and achieve everything she’s wanted to”.

A photo of a man and woman smiling at the camera

Angela and James are friends, even if they do practice hitting each other.

A photo of a man and women practicing martial arts.

Angela first came to BCS to learn self-defence.

A photo of a man and woman using sticks to practice martial arts.

Angela says coming to BCS has boosted her confidence levels.

A photo of a man and woman practicing karate hits with pads.

Angela and James practice every Monday.

A photo of a man and woman using sticks in a martial arts class.

It was Angela’s interest in self-defense classes that first brought her to BCS.

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