My adventures with cerebral palsy

By Tony Petrin, 6 July 2016 , Comments

When I was a kid my dad took me on all these camping and four-wheel drive trips with family and friends.

I didn’t really want to go because I was shy but I went and when I kept going, I began to communicate more and my confidence grew.

Then when I was in high school Northcott came and spoke about their recreation services that kids with cerebral palsy like me could take part in.

Silvana from Northcott came to my house later and said “what do you want to do”.

Then I signed up to Northcott’s service and in the years since I have gone on camps and trips to Tasmania, Canberra, the outback, the snow and more.

Tony Petrin climbing up a wall with rocks on it indoors

Northcott has given me support to go to events like Rotary leadership camps and a summer camp in Canada where I worked with disadvantaged kids.

Now I love getting involved in the community, taking part in activities and volunteering at events.

I like to go to the beach, to the movies, out for dinner, camping, four-wheel driving and ten pin bowling in my spare time with my mates 

I do activities with Return2Sport  such as indoor rock climbing, adaptive cycling and wheelchair basketball. It is great fun!

I have also ridden up Mount Kosciuszko on a hand cycle bike as part of the 2016 Krazy Kosci Klimb. It was good to meet new people over the weekend and have an adventure outdoors. The funds we raised on this trip will help support exercise and sports programs for people with disability.

Tony Petrin on top of Mount Kosciuszko

Once a week, I volunteer at Leisure Links Youth Group, where I help organise leisure activities with the group. I also volunteer at Northcott swimming and athletics carnivals.

People should go out and try new things in their life because you only live once.

I think every person with disability should have access to recreation because it gives you the confidence to participate in other events and be part of mainstream community groups.

Getting involved in recreation activities also helps people with disability increase their independence by sometimes stepping outside their comfort zone.

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