Queen’s University scores more than points with basketball tournament
Participants in Ball 4 a Cause probably worked up more than a sweat and an appetite after taking part in last Saturday’s basketball tournament at Queen’s University. They likely gained a better perspective around inclusion.
The event was organized by Friends 4 Inclusion, a student committee that raises awareness about the need for inclusion and accessibility on campus and in the community. The group has a long association with Community Living Kingston and District.
“We’ve had a relationship with them for at least 20 years,” said Eleonor Egidio, the organization’s Volunteer Services Coordinator.
About 10 teams took to the court in specially-designed wheelchairs for an afternoon of fun. It was the third year for the basketball tournament. Previously, the committee organized a dodgeball tournament.
“They switched it up because they thought it related more to the people that we’re supporting, and it also allows students to get more of a sense of what it [could be] like to live with a disability,” added Egidio.
In addition to hosting awareness and fundraising events on campus and in the community, the committee also recruits student volunteers that are matched with a person who has an intellectual disability based on his or her areas of interest.
“I know in terms of having students as volunteers, there are organizations in some communities that think they’re a transient group, they’re short-term. I figure if it allows people we support to access the community, or to learn a skill, to participate more, then why not?”
Egidio also pointed out that some students take part in the volunteer program throughout their entire university career, often hanging out with the same person, participating in community events, and forming natural relationships.
Ron Laroche, Community Living Ontario