Piara Waters Starkick player leads the way for Telethon

One of this year’s Little Telethon Stars is six-year-old Starkick participant Harrison Lee.

Harrison was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy at the age of two and grapples with vision impairment, colour blindness, speech, and learning and developmental difficulties. 

Despite the multitude of obstacles that dot his path, Harrison’s spirit shines brightly. He lives with boundless enthusiasm and enjoys many activities including participating in footy, board games, biking and cooking.

Harrison joined the Piara Waters Junior Football Club Starkick program last year and was given the extraordinary opportunity to grace Optus Stadium, joining fellow Starkick participants during a Fremantle Dockers game at half time.

Starkick isn’t just a game – it’s a vibrant community where kids revel in the joy of playing football.

Harrison's mother, Pay Pay Lee, attests to the program's immeasurable value, emphasising that Starkick is about far more than just football.

“Harrison’s dad (Sean) is a footy fan, he couldn’t wait for Harrison to grow older and be able to spend time kicking the footy with him and taking part in fun outdoor sports activities that fathers and sons do,” Mrs Lee said.

“When Sean realised Harrison wouldn’t be able to do those things it broke his heart, but we were so thankful that after searching high and low Starkick popped up and the team made it so easy to give the program a go.

“We fell in love with the Club and everyone there; we can all participate as a family and it’s always so much fun.” 

For Harrison, football is more than a game; it's the realisation of dreams that seemed impossible. 

“Playing on the grand stage of Optus Stadium was a dream come true for Harrison, he still raves about it now,” Mrs Lee said.

Mrs Lee said Harrison has tried many sports but found most clubs are not equipped to support children with disabilities.

“Harrison has tried many sports, but he is always the kid who struggles and comes last and is unable to physically take part in activities or play the game,” Mrs Lee said.

“Starkick eliminates the obstacles and is prepared for the unexpected to occur; if there’s a problem, they have a solution.

“They pay attention to each child’s needs and accommodate them; nothing is ever too hard.

“Harrison has never been left behind. 

“They go above and beyond for Harrison and our family, and that’s really rare across the community.”

As a Telethon beneficiary, Starkick will feature in the Telethon Family Festival on Sunday October 22, and will host several sessions as well as an information stand with engaging activities for kids.

West Australian Football Commission Inclusion Specialist, Rob Geersen said Starkick is an all-abilities football program for boys and girls aged 5 – 17 who may be unable or unwilling to participate in a traditional sporting team environment.

“Every child should be able to take part in sporting activities where they can have fun, make new friends and learn the basics of teamwork,” Geersen said.

“We’ve loved having Harrison as part of our Starkick program and seeing him have so much fun, it’s wonderful to be involved in a small part of his journey.

“I hope he has a wonderful time at Telethon.”

As this year’s Little Telethon Star, Harrison will have the best tickets in town and is looking forward to meeting many celebrities.

“He is very excited to meet Fat Cat, the footy stars and Emma Memma,” Mrs Lee said.

“He would love to meet some rock stars and rock out some ‘Harrison’ dance moves and he is such a sociable kid that he is going to be excited to meet everyone.”

Starkick will be at the Telethon Family Festival on Sunday from 10am, click here.

For more information about Starkick and how to get involved visit www.starkick.com.au.