This story is about courage, determination, resilience, optimism and an inspiring example of how sport can play a part in including everyone. It is also a reminder that with the right attitude, anything is possible — with or without a disability.

Jake Ballestrino, 25, was born with what he describes as upper limb deficiency or a bilateral deformation of the upper limbs. “I’ve never seen it as a disability, nor have my family, friends and anyone around me,” he says.

“And if in any case I wasn’t included, I would include myself. When growing up if there were kids kicking the footy I would go up to them and join in with the mindset that I may be not be able to mark the ball but I can kick it, and I can probably kick it better than you.”

This positive attitude and determination has driven Jake his whole life and has taken him a long way. He sees sport as a barrier breaker and his passion for it has enabled him to make life-long friends, achieve many great feats and stand alongside against anyone as an equal.

Jake has also been intrigued by the coaching side of sport as he has an interest in how the body works and imparting his knowledge and experience. “I’ve been adapting things my whole life through sport and other areas of my life from the way I brush my teeth to the way I pitch a softball, so coaching and adapting styles and techniques really interests me.”

So when the opportunity came up to coach softball Read More

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