Universal access ropes course launch in Australian first

  • Date: 17 December 2014
  • Category: News
Camp Manyung high ropes

A high ropes course designed to enable people of any age or ability to enjoy the thrills of outdoor recreation will be unveiled by YMCA Victoria and Sport and Recreation Victoria at YMCA Camp Manyung in Mt Eliza today.

An Australian first, the Camp Manyung Universal High Challenge Ropes Course is an adventure activity constructed using Universal Design principles, enabling people of all ages and abilities to participate.

The ropes course is set in the treetops and participants choose how they travel around the course, for example they may choose to use a scooter, or a skateboard, or a bike or the Cloud Rider - a specially designed wheel chair purpose-built for the ropes course and the first of its kind in Australia. This approach allows people with varying motor skills to challenge themselves while all people participating in the same course.

Camp Manyung manager Maree Feutrill said she was thrilled that an ambitious idea had become a reality.
“Creating an inclusive environment at camp was very important; we wanted a place where everyone is able to participate in adventure activities regardless of their circumstances.”

“One of the great things about the project was gaining input from a wide range of people and users to bring about the best design solutions.”

Numerous physical and mental health benefits are derived from participation in outdoor adventure activity, and we believe these benefits should be made available to all people. School and community groups attending camp are richly diverse and consequently our programs must be flexible.

Unveiled only two weeks after International Day of People with Disability, the development of the ropes course was a collaboration of a number of organisations including Solve Disability Solutions, a not-for-profit organisation that makes and modifies equipment for people with disabilities, and builder Trees Adventure.

The project has been funded by Sport and Recreation Victoria and YMCA Victoria as part of a shared commitment to a universal philosophy of providing equal opportunity for everyone to participate in outdoor activity.