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Swan Districts celebrates International Day of People with Disability

Friday, December 1, 2023 - 7:21 PM

Paralympic athlete and Swan Districts Football Club wheelchair football player Amber Merritt gave an inspirational speech at the club’s fifth International Day of People with Disability breakfast.

Amber discussed her challenges of being born with a club foot and wanting to enjoy the same opportunities her peers received. She recalled her childhood feelings of isolation and the role swimming, and in turn basketball, played in providing a sense of belonging.

Swans is well aware of the role it plays as a community connector. It has an All Ability football team, a wheelchair football team, which Amber now plays in, and with the support of Telethon, is using its 10 new sports wheelchairs to deliver inclusion programs in schools.   

“Our club’s purpose is to empower community and individuals to create better futures,” said Swans Director of Social Impact Ian Westmore.  

“Yes, football is in our DNA, but we exist for a deeper purpose.”

Our inclusion programs are central to who we are and links to our club values including everyone matters, raise the bar to be the best you can be, and we fly together.”

Amber said she believes that everything happens for a reason. She explained how her disability helped open new doors for her including the opportunity to play for the Australian wheelchair basketball team for over 15 years including winning a Paralympics silver medal.

Amber has become an inspiration for many people.

The Swans IDPwD breakfast was sponsored by Elders and PSC Insurance. The club’s all ability inclusion programs are proudly supported by 360 Health and Community, The Vines, Pilbara Motor Group, McIntosh and Son and Telethon.