A Safety Bay deputy principal has taken on a new leadership role as the top coach of Perth’s state wheelchair basketball team.
Safety Bay Senior High School Deputy Principal John Triscari was recently announced as the head coach of the adult team, Perth Wheelcats, having been involved in wheelchair basketball since 2008.
Mr Triscari is responsible for the school’s cheer-dance and football programs, Aboriginal education, health and physical education, technologies and student services, and hopes his role as Wheelcats coach will assist the work he does at Safety Bay Senior High School.
“Being involved in wheelchair basketball has made me more empathetic as a person as you are acutely aware of the challenges faced by our athletes daily,” he said.
“This has helped in my role here at Safety Bay Senior High School, overseeing Aboriginal education, as there is a similar lack of understanding by the general community of the issues faced by our First Nations peoples.
“It has also made me aware of the barriers and logistical challenges faced by athletes with a disability living in an able-bodied world.”
Mr Triscari said he hoped being in this role would also inspire his students and encourage them to achieve their dreams.
“My role as head coach of the Wheelcats has helped me in my role as deputy principal, as it provides a positive role model for students,” he said.
“I have been able to share the message of inclusivity and the dismantling of stereotypes of athletes with a disability with our Moorditij Djoowak Aboriginal Engagement Program students and other disengaged cohorts.
“It’s about empowering people with disabilities to realise their full potential and sharing these stories with our disengaged students, helping them gain perspective and develop, resilience gratitude, and empathy.”