LOCAL resident, Alana Baldi has been named a finalist for the Victorian Sport Awards Victorian Young Volunteer of the Year Award, with the award’s night of nights to be held in Melbourne on Wednesday next week.
The nomination came following Alana’s involvement with the cricket community and Special Olympics. Alana has volunteered her time to run weekly cricket training sessions for people in Shepparton with a disability as part of her role as a Cricket Australia A Sport for All Community Ambassador, with the clinics leading up to the GV Harmony Cup, which Alana also gives her time to help organise.
As a Special Olympics carer, Alana attends snow camps and track and field competitions as a Victorian carer allowing athletes with a disability to travel both interstate and overseas to pursue their sporting dreams.
Alana said, “It’s an honour to be named as a finalist in such a prestigious award. I am very humbled by the selection but most importantly I’m happy that it’s giving exposure to disability sport.
“It’s a reflection that the work I am doing within the disability sports sector is benefiting other people and to me that’s the most important thing.
“I’m passionate about wanting to make a difference to the life of others and to break down barriers faced by people with a disability. I want to educate people in our community about organisations such as Special Olympics and about disabilities.
“A disability shouldn’t define a person and shouldn’t see them excluded. I want to make sport more accessible to people with a disability and use my skills and knowledge in both cricket and track and field to do that.
“It’s all about people’s abilities not their disabilities. I love seeing how much enjoyment participates get out of sport and the improvement they make.
“I’m also driven to volunteer as much as I do in both cricket and Special Olympics to allow people with a disability to chase their sporting dreams. Whether that be just to hit a four in cricket or represent their state with Special Olympics, everyone regardless of who they are should have a chance in life to achieve their goals and dreams.”