Autism Spectrum Australia

The largest autism School Sports Carnival comes to Sydney Olympic Park

  • Posted: Tue, 11/09/2018 - 1:17pm

MEDIA RELEASE - 11 September 2018

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) is bringing its NSW schools together this Wednesday, 12 September, to form the largest autism-specific sports event in the southern hemisphere.

Over 2000 students, teachers and family members are expected to attend the event at the Athletics Centre, Sydney’s Olympic Park, for a day of inclusivity and celebration.

Aspect’s National Director of Education, Elizabeth Gadek, said research shows that children with autism significantly benefit from participating in social activities, but can often miss out on sports and recreational activities because they can feel overwhelming.

“For a child on the autism spectrum, a traditional sports carnival can be quite overwhelming, with crowds, screaming and cheering and loud music.

“At the Aspect Sports Carnival, students get to take part in activities of their choice, in a safe place, and with no judgement,” said Ms Gadek, “And at the end of the day, everyone gets a medal, not just the winners.”

The event includes typical sports activities like 100m running races, hurdles, egg and spoon races, as well as some tailored activities such as sensory bubble popping.  

“At Aspect, we foster the strengths, talents and interests of our students and the Sports Carnival gives every one a chance to participate in a range of activities that are adaptable and suitable.”

Manly Sea Eagle players, Brian Kelly and Matthew Wright and members of the Sense Rugby team will be volunteering at the event.  Australian Rugby Sevens Olympian Jesse Parahi founded Sense Rugby with his partner Carlien in 2015, to combine Occupational Therapy and sports to help children with disability.

Event Details:

  • Wednesday 12th September 2018
  • 10am-1.30pm
  • Athletic Centre, Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre.

Definition and prevalence of autism

  • Autism can affect the way a person communicates and interacts with other people and his or her environment. Some people on the autism spectrum can have social communication difficulties, strong interests, sensory sensitivities and repetitive behaviour. Autism is completely unique to each individual. 
  • An estimated 1 in 70 Australians are on the autism spectrum



The largest autism School Sports Carnival comes to Sydney Olympic Park