Why equality in sport matters

By Granit Haliti, 3 November 2016 , Comments

Hi my name is Granit.

The reason I am writing to you is to talk about equality in sport. I am passionate about sport and believe there is more to sport than winning and fame.

I believe sport is about giving people the opportunity to do what they love to the best of their ability. It should also be about bringing people together to realise that everybody deserves a fair go.

The reason that I would like to bring up this topic is so people can realise the struggles of living with disability and being judged by people most of your life, to understand this we need to define what equality is.

Equality is ensuring individuals or groups of individuals are treated fairly and equally regardless of their race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age.

Almost 20 percent of Australians have disability, that’s 3.96 million people. The majority within this figure do not consider sport as an option or a lifestyle.

Most of these people don’t even know they have the option of being able to participate in sport. Most of them haven’t been educated to understand they can be active, on or off the sporting ground no matter what their disability is.

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Let me tell you about my experience. I have had and still have great opportunities in sport but my path wasn’t easy.

It took me years to play in a mainstream team because of my disability and people’s perspectives of me. People always looked at me and thought I can’t be competitive, judging me by my appearance.

After years of trying, my luck turned and there were supportive people who were more than happy to give me a chance.

For example Kings Langley Football Club gave me the best opportunity to show people even though you have a disability you can keep up with those who don’t have disability.

I have represented N.S.W in the state Paralympics but this opportunity didn’t come easy and most people didn’t know how to deal with me. They didn’t know if I was ready, capable or strong enough.

There are so many of my colleagues that have disability who still haven’t had the same opportunities as me. They still are waiting for someone to give them a chance to shine.

The main reason I am writing this story is so people can understand that disability can’t stop you from achieving your dream, only your own motivation and self-belief can.

My final words of advice, when you see someone who is different from you – don’t assume why and never DIS on their ABILITY.

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