Elias Power, coach of MRP Blue at Norths Rugby Club, joined the MRP this season. Elias has recently completed a Dual Degree of a Bachelor of Sport Exercise Science and Sports Management and a Graduate Diploma in Education, aiding his coaching ability and understanding towards children with learning and perceptual disabilities.
We spoke to Elias to get his insight on the MRP.
Q: What motivated you to join the MRP?
A: “A few other coaches from my other rugby commitments were involved and told me about the program. I have a younger Brother, Joseph, who has cerebral palsy in his legs, which has restricted him from playing since he left school and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for both of us to get involved and allow Joseph to enjoy the game again.”
Q: How do you see your experience in the MRP benefiting you in your life?
A: “After not having extreme exposure to children with learning and perceptual disabilities, the MRP has definitely allowed me to learn to differentiate with students and promote inclusiveness. The program has allowed me to distinguish coaching aids, breaking them down into an understandable format but ensuring they are specific to meet the players’ needs.”
Q: How important is it to create opportunities like this for children with complex needs?
A: “To allow kids the opportunity to do something that they would otherwise not have been able to is what it is all about. The social interaction between kids their own age within the MRP community is really valued and is reiterated by parents. For someone like Joseph, he finds it relatively difficult to play opens rugby but the MRP allows him an avenue to display his ability to relate to kids with disabilities through coaching."
“The Norths Community is all about catering for the wider community – good people attract good people.”