By Lawrence Machado
For something which could be life-transforming, it is surprising that the I’MPossible program is hardly known beyond its local borders.
Yet, what Carl Jennings, Eddie Palaci and their dedicated team at Super 6 High Performance are achieving are positive experiences for people with disabilities.
Beaumont Hills local Eddie Palaci got his brainchild program under way in 2019 but had to shelve it last year due to COVID-19. The intense 10-week term based program is run at Blacktown International Sports Park on Wednesdays and Fridays between 6-7pm.
He said S6HP I’MPossible delivers physical and emotional development for athletes with a disability, with participants ranging from 12-29 years. “Why? Because we are passionate about ensuring every young athlete has an opportunity to be part of an environment that is safe and nurturing,” Mr Palaci told Hills to Hawkesbury Community News. “That gives them the opportunity to become the best versions of themselves.”
He said the program is transforming youth with disabilities into confident and fitter individuals, thanks to a high performance program designed and run by world-renown coach Jennings, who has worked with the All Blacks and other professional sports teams.
“We need to get more people with disabilities on board because there are thousands more in The Hills, Blacktown and surrounding area who are unaware of these programs,” Mr Palaci said. “We don’t care if the person has one leg, in a wheelchair, blind or on the autism spectrum, let them join.. we are an inclusive environment. The challenge we have is getting the message out there; our facilities and structured program are tailored to cater for the individual needs.”
Mr Palaci coined the word I’MPossible to turn impossible to something that children and adults with disabilities can achieve given the proper guidance and right environment.
The goal is very close to Mr Palaci, whose daughter, Eliana, 17, played football before turning to netball where she now joins her mum and younger sister.
“Unfortunately, society pigeonholes people and it is very hard to break out of this, why not give a person with disabilities a high performance environment?,” Mr Palaci said.
Mr Palaci said he cannot find anything like this anywhere in Australia or in the world for that matter.
“Its unique in the sense it gives youth learning only available to elite and champion athletes,” he said. “We want these kids to be the best versions of themselves. When we first got a batch together, it was a bit chaotic but at the end, the children were so disciplined in this high performance environment. They learnt about several things, including learning how to breathe, mindfulness, meditation skills, physical elements and nutrition and we were amazed also how well behaved they were due to the zero tolerance policies.
“These are life skills for them and even if they can take home one life skill like how to make a nutritional smoothie, that alone is very satisfying for us.”
Mr Palaci said they included nutrition as this is neglected by families that have children with disabilities, because it is almost the last thing on the minds of the overburdened parents.