The month of June will be dedicated as Football for All month with football activities and programs devoted to people of all abilities across Australia.
The initiative caters specifically for people with various disabilities with Member Federations and FFA’s Game Development department advocating a range of programs and competitions for all levels of football ability.
Football for All ambassador, Westfield Matildas striker Kyah Simon, is thrilled to be involved with the initiative, “Football is a beautiful game and one of the best things about it is that anyone can play.”
“Being able to be part of a team environment is very empowering and something that I especially love about the game.
“Football has given me a lot of self-confidence and happiness – the chance for more people to be able to benefit from being exposed to football is a great thing.”
Upcoming events already scheduled include Football NSW’s ‘Football4all’ gala day on Sunday, 3rd June 2012 at Valentine Sports Park in Glenwood.
The Football NSW ‘Football4all’ gala day brings children and young people with a disability or special need together to enjoy a wonderful day of football with family and friends.
Further north, Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) will be conducting a day in conjunction with Special Olympics Australia on June 20 at Thornton in Newcastle.
The day will include about 200 primary and secondary school students who will participate in both football and athletics on a rotation basis over the course of the day.
Aiming to provide basic skills and Optus Small-Sided Football opportunities for the athletes the program will be supported by NNSWF staff, Special Olympics Australia staff and Thornton Football Club staff.
Establishing club links for the participants, the long-term plan is to create sustained participation in football for all ability athletes in the area.
In Western Australia, Football West, as part of the second annual Disabilities in Football (Soccer) Week, will provide a number of opportunities for participation, fun and skill development for people who currently play or want to get into playing including their families and supporters.
Sessions to be conducted include Special Olympics skills clinics, paralympic training sessions and refereeing in disability football. More details on these events can be found at www.footballwest.com.au.
Someone who has taken advantage of the opportunities available to athletes with disability in football is Qantas Pararoos’ captain Chris Pyne.
“This initiative helps connect those people that can’t participate in most competitions a chance to be part of a team, make friends and do something that activates both your mind and your spirit,” said Chris Pyne.
“Football for All month is a great initiative and will give the chance for more people of any ability to be part of the beautiful game.”
As part of Football for All month, FFA’s National Community Coach Education Manager Norm Boardman will be travelling to each state and territory to conduct inclusive practical sessions that will reinforce the C.H.A.N.G.E I.T acronym and will assist coaches modifying and understanding players needs across all abilities.
To learn more about the upcoming programs during the month of June contact your local Member Federation.
To find your local Member Federation click here
Football4all Gala Day - Sunday, 3rd June 2012 Valentine Sports Park
When: Sunday, 3rd June 2012
Time: Registration starts at 9:30am (proposed 3pm finish)
Where: Valentine Sports Park, 235-257 Meurants Lane, Glenwood
Eligibility: All players must be currently registered in a special needs football team, club or association within the Football NSW community or an invitational special school team or disability team.
Ages: Teams U6 - U10 years, 11 - 15 years, 16 - 21 years and 22+ years. Individuals wishing to enter can join composite teams on the day and participate in all drills and activities.
Entry: Complete entry form and fax to Kim Burge on 8814 4483 by the 7th May 2012.
Places are limited and early entry is recommended.