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The Greater Victoria Collaborative for Adapted Sport and Physical Activity
Facilitating athletic and recreational opportunities for people across the age and disability spectrum
OneDay Community Picnic
OneDay is an annual community picnic put on by various members and organizations around Victoria. This year, OneAbility was grateful to join as a Sport and Recreation Liaison. We are so appreciative of the enthusiasm and energy from our members hosted booths at the event:
- Canucks Autism Network
- Embrace Arts
- Hamptons Little League Challengers
- Kids Physio Group
- MOVE Adapted Fitness
- Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence
- Panorama Recreation Centre
- Power to Be
- Recreation Adaptive Society
We took the time to catch up with Kristen Kay, of BeConnected Support Services as well as Hampton’s Little League Challengers. Read her reflections on the legacy, success and community support that surrounds OneDay.
1. What is the legacy of OneDay and how has the event evolved?
13 years ago there was a small group of us working together professionally, but in different roles (such as: service provider, funder of services, family member, self-advocates), and we realized we are all really working towards the same thing, but from different points of approach or entry. We decided to plan a day to spend together outside of our traditional/professional roles, for the benefit of our community. At the time “our community” was children and youth with special needs, adults with developmental disabilities, their families, and providers of supports and services.
We paired it with Community Living Month [now called Community Inclusion Month], which is October, but called it “our community’s kick off to Community Living Month”. Our intention was to highlight and showcase that people who live with disabilities and the organizations that support them have lots to offer and are valued members and contributors [across our community].
After [subsequent] successful events, we decided it was time to broaden participation to include the community at large. We moved the event to Topaz Park and invited the community to join us. We were motivated in particular at this time by our OneDay mission, which as stated above is “to highlight and showcase that people who live with disabilities and the organizations that support them, have lots to offer and are valued members and contributors” to our local neighbourhoods and communities, AND we work hard to encourage the community at large to attend One Day in the hope that through celebrating our similarities, we can break down the barriers that often result in social isolation for some.
2. What is the desired outcome for individuals who attend OneDay?
The purpose of One Day is to celebrate diversity, inclusion and belonging in our community through the planning of a free, family-oriented celebration of everyone in our community. One Day is a casual community event where everyone is included and feels welcome, and our event is accessible.
We consider physical and environmental barriers, and as mentioned above, attitudinal barriers. We have always kept the cost of lunch at $5 in order to make it financially accessible to attendees.
We aim to share simple things that draw people together (ex: music, food, companionship and/or games).With the addition of the sport and recreation area 4 or 5 events ago we also aim to introduce people with disabilities to opportunities they may not be aware of and [simultaneously] introduce community members to accessible and adaptive activities and equipment. It is so great to see a kid without disabilities getting the opportunity to try out a trail rider or sledge on wheels in order to [normalize] the use of adaptive equipment and [foster inclusive play].
3. Can you share how OneDay events come to be? Specifically partnerships, funding and planning?
The original OneDay organizations were BeConnected, CLBC, Community Living Victoria, and Kardel and Garth Homer. These organizations have existed as the planning committee, with subsequent organizations joining over the years.
Regarding planning, honestly, we organize it off the sides of our desks! Pre-COVID, we had a few meetings around a table at a coffee shop starting a few months out. Participating planning organizations have always also served as “sponsors” with a yearly 500$ contribution, and a 1000$ contribution for our 10 year anniversary. We also receive seed money from Cornerstone Services Society and are appreciative when organizations offer us a larger sponsorship sum, like OneAbility’s 2000$ support this year!
4.How does the community coming together / community contributions support OneDay?
People sharing good times had at One Day results in more attendees – word of mouth is hugely important to us. We have noted year after year that it has become more apparent that [over time] the community at large are participating in larger numbers, and not only people and families with members who have disabilities attend (but there are still LOTS of children and adults with disabilities present!). We are continually motivated by our community integration!
5. Any advice for organizations trying to put on something similar?
1. Give yourself a minimum 6 months to organize the first event
2. Find like-minded leaders from like-minded organizations
3. Include people with disabilities in planning and hosting
4. Commit to it being mostly free for the community
5. Insist on sunshine in the forecast!
Lastly, looking towards the future, we have created somewhat of a formula for hosting One Day. We have always thought it may be a good idea for other communities around the province to kick off Community Inclusion Month in a similar way, or that there be a sister-One Day event someplace. We’d be happy to share what we have learned so please reach out if interested!
Kristen Kay speaks on behalf of the OneDay organizing committee. Kristen can be reached at KKay@beconnectedsupport.ca
Register for ParaPlay
Thank you to Canadian Tire Jumpstart Foundation for supporting our second season of ParaPlay! Links to register are below.
ParaPLAY is a free program for youth aged 15-25 to try out a number of different para sports including wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, athletics, climbing, boccia and wheelchair tennis! The program will run from September through December 2022.
Register for ParaPlay at PISE for youth ages 9-15:
Register for ParaPlay at CARSA for youth ages 16-25:
OneAbility’s New Strategic Plan
Click below to download OneAbility’s new Strategic Plan:
Keep in Touch
The OneAblity bi-monthly newsletter is a forum to stay informed about programs, events, workshops and seminars, training and education, as well as funding opportunities related to adapted physical activity and sport.