Inclusion Football Carnival Inspires

The WA All Abilities Football Association has combined with Starkick to stage an inclusion football carnival and sundowner in both Bunbury and Albany.

 More than 200 people attended the events over four days with South West community members, disability organisations and staff from local schools form part of the initiative.

 The carnival and sundowner were an opportunity to hear about the great work Starkick and WA All Abilities Football Association are doing to grow disability football from juniors as young as five years old to seniors.

WAFC Inclusion Specialist, Rob Geersen said, the carnivals have been a great opportunity for us to not only highlight that all children can play, but also to raise awareness and engage new participants for our existing South West Starkick centres.

"With centres in Albany, Bunbury, Busselton, Manjimup and also now Dunsborough who are launching Starkick this year, there’s never been a better time to get involved." Geersen said. 

WAAAFA Executive Officer, Hayden Marchetto said the sundowners were an opportunity to engage more West Australians in football.

“Football serves as a cornerstone in building community connections and fostering inclusivity," Marchetto said.

“Our programs allow people with a disability to be involved and participate in Australian rules football like every other Australian,” 

Bunbury was represented by Geographe Education Support Centre, Newton Moore Education Support Centre, and Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School, while Albany had participants from Spencer Park Education Support Centre and Albany Secondary Education Support Centre.

As part of the road trip, two Kickability in school sessions were also run at local schools in Bunbury and Manjimup with over 60 children involved.

Starkick is an all-inclusive football program for children from the ages of 5-17 with or without disability.

There are currently 27 centres around the state and this program is part of the player pathway program for participants with disability.

The WA All Abilities Football Association is a football program for adults with disability and runs competitions such as wheelchair football, Integrated Football, and the National Inclusion Carnival.