Community Spotlight: iFLY Australia
A few weeks ago, our resident adventurer and chicken nugget connoisseur Hugo tried indoor skydiving at iFLY Australia for the very first time! Aside from posing for some great snaps, he gave us a rave review of the iFLY All-Abilities experience:
'It was really fun flying up high! It felt weird at first, then I got used to it - it was so fun. I was a little scared, but when I went up, I wasn't scared anymore. I would definitely do it again and I've already told my friends about how it was so fun!'
We also spoke to iFLY Australia about what the All-Abilities experience involves and what makes it a fantastic activity for people of all abilities:
For those who aren’t familiar, what is iFLY and what does it involve?
For those who may not be familiar, iFLY is an exhilarating indoor skydiving experience that is accessible to individuals of all abilities. It offers the opportunity to take flight in a controlled environment without compromising on the thrill. Our team of expert instructors are highly skilled in the art of indoor skydiving and are dedicated to ensuring that your learning experience is as exciting as possible.
Once you're suited up in your flight gear, watched the instructional video, and learned the communication signals for in-flight interaction, you'll step into the wind tunnel. There, you'll effortlessly ascend into the air with your instructor by your side, guiding you as you soar and allowing you to experience the joy of flight on your terms.
How did the All-Abilities program start and what can participants in the program expect?
The inception of the All-Abilities program can be traced back to Barbara McCarthy, our AGM and Head of Sales, who recognised a need for more accessibility and awareness of iFLY among individuals living with disabilities. Barbara embarked on a journey that involved attending Disability Expos in and around NSW and collaborating with various organisations to raise awareness about iFLY. This effort was primarily focused on marketing campaigns.
It was during this time that the decision was made to launch the All-Abilities events. These events were created to cater to diverse needs while fostering inclusivity. Today, our All-Abilities events, including those during school holidays, are consistently fully booked. Moreover, individuals with disabilities can take flight at any time, even outside of these events, by using our special discount code "ICANFLY" to enjoy a 20% discount.
Our events provide a joyful and safe environment for everyone, irrespective of their challenges. We offer unwavering support and patience, treating each participant with the utmost respect, just as we do with all first-time flyers who walk through our doors.
At iFLY, we firmly believe that the impossible can become possible. Our mission is to inspire individuals to dream big and dream often. Regardless of our differences, we all share the same desire to be someone, to feel, and to experience. In a world where we are unique yet connected, we aim to help you achieve your dreams, one flight at a time.
What makes the All-Abilities session inclusive?
At iFLY, we take immense pride in enabling individuals to exceed their own expectations, transcending the boundaries of what they thought possible. To ensure that this exhilarating experience is accessible to every person all over the world, we extend a warm invitation to individuals of All Abilities to take flight.
We firmly believe that, regardless of physical or cognitive differences, everyone should have the opportunity to unleash their inner aviator. When you visit iFLY and express a need for assistance, rest assured that our specially trained flight instructors are ready to provide the necessary support and accommodations tailored to your specific requirements.
Our All-Abilities session stands as a testament to this unwavering commitment. It creates an inclusive haven where individuals from diverse backgrounds and capabilities can unite to partake in the thrill of indoor skydiving. Equipped with specialised instructors and cutting-edge technology, we've dismantled the barriers that might otherwise hinder people from experiencing the sensation of flight.
Whether you're a thrill-seeker or someone seeking a distinctive adventure, our All-Abilities session beckons you to challenge gravity and embrace the liberty of flight. Whether you choose to soar independently or share this unforgettable journey with loved ones, iFLY’s dedication to inclusivity ensures that the skies are open to all, collectively.
What has been some of the feedback you’ve received about the All-Abilities program from participants and their families?
The families and participants consistently depart from our All-Abilities sessions with an overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude towards iFLY for hosting these monthly events. Here are some of the reviews we've received:
"We attended as a group with clients having intellectual disabilities, and the experience was nothing short of fantastic. Each person was assisted with the utmost care and treated with dignity. Chad and Amy, our instructors, went above and beyond to cater to each individual's needs. They helped some to fly independently while ensuring others felt comfortable and enjoyed their time to the fullest. iFLY is an extraordinary place, and this activity is highly recommended for all."
"I want to express my gratitude for the incredible day we had at iFLY yesterday. Our group had an absolute blast! Our instructor, Harley, was exceptional, displaying a passion for what he does and providing much-needed reassurance, especially for the more nervous members of our group. Thank you for your assistance with our booking."
"An amazing experience! One of my sons was initially quite apprehensive, but the staff were incredibly caring, making him feel safe and encouraging him to try again. I couldn't recommend this place more, whether you have adventurous or apprehensive children. Both of my boys left feeling like superheroes."
"I had the most incredible experience yesterday. I brought my son, who has mild autism, to try something different for his birthday. Initially, he was quite fearful and refused to participate. From the very beginning, our instructor, Amy, created a welcoming and comfortable environment. In the most calming manner, she persuaded my son to give it a try. He ended up thoroughly enjoying the experience and wants to return. I can't thank Amy and the entire team enough for their friendliness, professionalism, and respect. Thank you once again!"
These heartwarming testimonials reflect the positive impact of the All-Abilities program on our participants and their families.
Can you tell us more about the iFLY All Abilities Ambassadors and their role?
Meet Greg, one of our All-Abilities Ambassador, who has faced life's challenges with resilience and determination. Born with Spina Bifida, Greg's journey has been marked by unwavering spirit. He thrived in soccer and cricket throughout his early twenties, but as muscle tone dwindled in his legs, he turned to various orthotics and walking aids. By December 2020, he made the transition to a wheelchair, embracing this new chapter.
iFLY caught Greg's attention as he passed by several times, and he decided it was time to take the plunge. "I wanted to prove to myself that I could still have fun and do all kinds of activities despite being in a wheelchair," Greg shared.
Much like the rest of us, Greg was captivated by the "exhilaration and freedom" that flying at iFLY offered. Upon entering the facility, he was immediately struck by the professional yet welcoming atmosphere. The friendly and considerate staff made him feel right at home, catering to his needs and those of others.
Greg's experience mirrors the joy and liberation that indoor skydiving brings to all our participants, fuelling our passion for inclusivity and accessibility at iFLY.
As our All-Abilities Ambassador, Greg plays a pivotal role. He attends our all-abilities sessions, engaging with flyers and their families or caregivers. Greg offers guidance, answers questions, and provides comfort to those who maybe feeling a bit apprehensive or nervous. Moreover, he represents our All-Abilities program at disability expos and other events, championing the cause of inclusivity and demonstrating the incredible experiences that iFLY has to offer.
What would you say to someone who might like to try the All-Abilities program but isn’t sure if it’s for them?
If you're considering giving the All-Abilities program a try but are uncertain whether it's the right fit for you, I'd like to share the inspiring journey of Greg, our All-Abilities Ambassador. Greg faced his own challenges, including being diagnosed with Spina Bifida and transitioning to a wheelchair later in life. Despite these obstacles, he took the leap and discovered the exhilaration and freedom of indoor skydiving at iFLY.
Just like Greg, you may have doubts or concerns, but I encourage you to take that first step. iFLY is committed to making the experience as accessible and inclusive as possible for everyone. When you enter our facility, you'll find a professional and welcoming atmosphere where our friendly staff are dedicated to ensuring your needs are met.
Our All-Abilities program is designed to cater to diverse abilities and backgrounds, and Greg, as our ambassador, is there to offer support, answer your questions, and provide comfort if you're feeling a bit nervous. The sense of achievement and joy you'll experience is truly remarkable.
So, I'd say, give it a try and let the experience speak for itself. Just like Greg and countless others, you might discover a newfound sense of freedom and excitement that knows no bounds. We believe in you, and we're here to help you soar.
Thank you to Barbara McCarthy, AGM and Head of Sales at iFLY Australia. To find out more about the All Abilities program at iFLY Australia, you can visit the iFLY website.