Ausome Hoops is a basketball program specifically designed for young people with Autism, currently based on the Mornington Peninsula in Australia. Founded in 2019, Ausome Hoops delivers school holiday camps and weekly programs to kids on the spectrum, providing a safe, inclusive space where they can learn how to play basketball free from the judgement from others that may be present in mainstream sport programs.
The program was created after founder Phoebe McShane, saw a lack of Autism-Inclusive sport programs in her area, due to her younger brother's experiences. He struggled to stick to a sport for more than 6 months due to the lack of knowledge and support from coaches and peers. He had tried just about every sport offered in their area, but hadn't found the right fit.
Regular physical activity is incredibly important in a child's life, it can help prevent the onset of diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Obesity, and is also fantastic for mental health. Studies have shown that children on the Autism Spectrum are far less likely to engage in frequent physical activity than other children. Not only do sport programs encourage kids to get active, but also help them get social and make friends, which is something young people with Autism sometimes have some difficulties with.
Phoebe, who has played basketball for almost 10 years and coached since she was 14, pitched the idea of an autism-inclusive basketball program to her local club and got the go-ahead to run it. The first camp in July of 2019 was a massive success, with 28 kids on the spectrum coming along and having a go and leaving with a huge smile, their very own basketball and some new skills to take with them.
Since then, the Ausome Hoops Team has gone on to run multiple school-holiday camps and have recently started running a weekly session on a Sunday morning.