AAA Play consistently lay foundations and developed forward moving strategies to better support Victorians with disabilities access sport and recreation opportunities.
The time and hard work invested in the previous year has now delivered for this financial year, with AAA Play surpassing expectations with a bumper year of achievements.
Engagement for 2018-19 has reached record numbers. Web traffic continued to increase month on month, averaging more than 2,800 unique visits per month and reaching an all-time high of 3,466 unique visits by the end of June 2019.
There were more than 300 non web-based enquiries, the majority of whom were looking to join a sport or recreation program, and the remainder seeking advice, referrals, or to promote all abilities programs.
The value and impact of social media for the AAA Play community is becoming increasingly apparent. The new messaging channels are being utilised to connect directly with the team – including 14 enquiries during the financial year – to seek sport and recreation opportunities. There has also been an average engagement of more than 30 people per day interacting with social media posts and live stream events.
Among a glut of achievements, AAA Play successfully introduced two key milestones essential to ensuring access for all abilities.
AAA Play launched a regional expansion in August 2018, sharing sport and recreation opportunities not only in Metropolitan Melbourne, but for the whole state of Victoria. The event was celebrated at Ballarat Special School, launched by the then Minister for Sport, the Hon John Eren MP.
AAA Play continued to deliver increased opportunity and choice in December, which saw the launch of the ‘Find a Leisure Centre’ website function as part of International Day of People with Disability (IDPWD). The newly appointed Chair of the Board, Michael Brown, announced the new AAA Play service at the IDPWD celebration, which included Paralympian, Kelly Cartwright, NDS Acting CEO, David Moody, and AAA Play ambassador, Chelsea Haag Witherden in a panel discussion. Find a Leisure Centre is an information service to support people with disabilities to easily source the information they need about accessibility of local leisure centres, to empower their choice and control, and ultimately improve their access to physical activity. Participants can now view information about full service leisure or recreation centres, as well as limited service facilities such as sports stadiums, and indoor or outdoor pools that offer casual public access.
The increase in sport and recreation opportunities has enabled AAA Play to refer enquirers to a list of options exceeding 760 all abilities activities and 120 leisure facilities.
Other notable achievements included:
- The development of AAA brand assets including banners and table cloths, merchandise such as pens, fidget spinners, and colouring sheets;
- Website updates to incorporate images, videos, social media links, and other resources to increase the support that clubs and participants need to continue to improve and grow their mutual engagement;
- The creation of ‘Let’s Learn About...’, a monthly newsletter that supports a featured sport to educate AAA Play subscribers about their sport category, and the opportunities available within their organisation;
- La Trobe University’s Centre for Sport and Social Impact Evaluation of AAA Play, which detailed the awareness, utilisation, and satisfaction with the AAA Play Service and its contact pathways among stakeholders;
- The introduction and farewell of new and old AAA Play Ambassadors; and
- September saw the introduction of more videos to AAA Play’s Facebook page, primarily through Community of Practice Live Streams and original content. The uptake of this strategy is evident not only in the volume of video views, but in the successful increase in engagement and number of followers on Facebook.
AAA Play has been incredibly successful in its growth and impact on the disability sport and recreation sector as a result of our commitment to continuing to be progressive and deliver first class initiatives that better support our AAA Play community. We couldn’t achieve this without the wonderful team of stakeholders and partners we work with.