Connecting Through Sport

Jack is a teenager who loves sport. His family self-manages his NDIS funding. Jack’s family has employed a Sports Coach to ensure that Jack participates fully in mainstream sports. In this four-minute video you’ll meet Jack, his mother, Jan and his Sports Coach, Alfonso.

Jack’s mother, Jan, and his Sports Coach, Alfonso, discuss the role of the Sports Coach.

Edited Transcript


Prior to Jack entering the NDIS we had never used paid supports in Jack’s life before. We relied heavily on just natural supports, family and friends, to help Jack achieve his goals of a good life.

We decided to directly employ people to be Jack’s supports. We were looking for a Sports Coach. Jack does a lot of different types of sports in the community but often he would find it difficult to keep up with other kids, so we wanted that coach to help him skill up.


So I found about this job from a friend who saw an advertisement at the Australian Catholic University. He thought it was going to be a good job for him but he felt a little bit unsure about it. Because I was studying an exercise physiology degree at the UC (University of Canberra) he thought it might be a good opportunity for me and and the best option for Jack at this moment.So that’s basically how I found out about this job.

Jack’s family wants Jack to be more involved in the community with his peers and and his touch footy mates and schoolmates, to be more involved with them in terms of sport, recreation, and just normal play like all the other kids. What we want is to build up that confidence so that he can do everything else that all the other kids can.


So in planning for the NDIS planning conversation we did a lot of thinking around our vision for Jack as this is our compass to help us make decisions along the way. We spent a lot of time with family and friends, thinking about how we can achieve the certain goals that we were aiming for Jack and a lot of those were revolving around sport.


I also take Jack to jiu-jitsu classes. At the beginning, he wasn’t doing jiu-jitsu but he did jiu-jitsu a few months before I started working with him. Now that he’s with me and his parents are not taking him to jiu-jitsu, Jack feels that he’s more free to play that particular sport.

So what I do is I take him to the classes and I support him. Jack is pretty independent when he’s doing this sport and he listens to the coach and does everything the coach asks him to do but whenever there’s something that he feels that he can’t do or feels a little bit unsure about it, I just pop up and say “Jack, you know, I’ve seen you do this before. I know you can do this. You’re great at this.” And he just gets back into it.

A few weeks ago he got a new ribbon in the belt so that means he’s a bit closer to the next belt so we’re really happy about that. It’s great seeing Jack improve.

So that’s my role as Jack’s Sports Coach.