November 15, 2023
Meet Clair, DPS client and Queensland archery champion! Bubbly, outgoing, and making friends all over the country through her love of archery, Clair says her life has completely turned around in the past 18 months. It’s thanks to her beloved new hobby, and to an engaged and proactive support team, working together for Clair’s best interests.
Clair now ‘lives and breathes’ archery, ever since the moment in 2022 when she picked up her first bow and arrow.
“I’d driven past the club (Wide Bay Archers) all the time, never knew what it was about,” Claire says. That’s until her independent support worker, Ross, introduced her to the sport.
“She was a natural from the start, her technique is flawless,” he says. “She’s a great student, she picks up every little tip and learns from it. ”
Clair lives with intellectual disability, and loves the way archery encourages her to slow down and focus. Plus there’s always something new to learn, a new goal to aim for, new equipment and accessories to add to her kit, and so much variety in the sport.
“We can shoot in the shed or in the bush, we’ve got target bags, 3D animals, it’s not the same thing every week,” she says. Clair also volunteers at the club, helping set up each Wednesday for Novelty Night.
From her home in Hervey Bay, Clair travels once a month as far as Rockhampton for competitions, and is the proud winner of 13 medals already, including Queensland champion in her ABA division. “I’m still working out what to do with them all!” she laughs.
Clair is excited about the National Championships coming up at Easter 2024, which will be hosted at the Wide Bay Archery Club, and will be a chance to see all the friends she’s made from around the country in one place. Clair adores the social side of archery, and is first to introduce herself to newcomers and make them feel welcome.
Witnessing Clair’s enthusiasm and her happy, chatty personality, it comes as a real shock to hear her describe what she was like just a few short years ago. “I was really quiet and shy, I was in my shell,” she says.
“My old support coordinators, they weren’t really helpful,” she explains. “Now I’ve got Steve, he’s one hundred percent so helpful. He thinks of things I wouldn’t even have thought of before.”
Steve Scholten is Clair’s Disability Plan Services support coordinator, and through communication and teamwork, he’s supporting Clair to make the most of her NDIS funding and opportunities.
“Clair’s funding just wasn’t being utilised properly,” Steve says. “And she was going through a lot of different support workers, because no one was really talking to each other. Ross has really stepped up in that way.
“Now, we’ve got her accessing hydrotherapy, a dietician, an OT… and we’re making sure we build a team of specialists who really work together, for Clair’s best interests.”
Ross says Steve has helped to make a huge difference in the support Clair receives. “He’s about the best support coordinator I’ve ever worked with,” Ross says. “His communication – can’t fault it. He gets straight back to us whenever we need him.”
As Clair laughs and jokes comfortably with Steve and Ross, it’s clear to see that she’s happy, and she’s chasing her goals – that’s the impact that great support coordination can have. We’re excited for the bright future ahead for Clair, and we look forward to seeing her displaying even more archery medals very soon!
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