Service-Learning Spotlight: RAID

By Will Lumb, Year 12

On Monday, 20 March, a group of Radford students from Years 9-12 and participants from the YMCA’s RAID (Recreational Activities for People with Intellectual Disability) Basketball program attended a screening of the movie Champions, which recently hit the cinemas. Funds raised from the event will go towards the meaningful work done at RAID. RAID is enthusiastic, noisy and competitive and has been running since 1984, with some participants attending for more than 20 years.

The film is centred around a stubborn and hot-headed minor league basketball coach sentenced to community service through coaching a Special Olympics team. The cast is led by Academy Award nominated and Emmy Award winner Woody Harrelson (True Detective and Zombieland), Emmy Award-nominated Kaitlin Olson (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Hacks), Grammy-nominated Cheech Marin (Born in East L.A and From Dusk Till Dawn) and Matt Cook (Man with a Plan and The Comeback). It's rounded out by a cast of more than ten actors with intellectual disabilities who authentically tell a story of growth and change in perspective.

Woody Harrelson in the movie Champions. Credit: IMDb.

Attendees were greeted by introductory speeches about what RAID entails, followed by discussion about some of the motivations that drive us to attend. With a mildly excessive amount of popcorn, we began the screening. What followed was a fantastic display of empowerment, and we all resonated with the transformative themes present. For those interested, RAID is held on Wednesday nights from 6:30-8:30 pm and is currently hosted at Canberra Grammar School but should return to Radford in Semester 2. It is a fantastic way to have a tangible and meaningful impact and will become for you, like it has for me, the best part of your week.