Illawarra Paralympic 7-a-side Football Programme
25 July 2012
The Paediatric Physiotherapy team from Wollongong Hospital will host a six week Paralympic 7-a-side football programme at the University of Wollongong.
The programme aimed at children and young people with cerebral palsy, brain injury or stroke is the initiative of Senior Paediatric Physiotherapist, Joanne Morrell, and will be held at the university’s modern indoor-facility – The Sports Hub.
The programme will run on six consecutive Wednesday afternoons from 8th August – 12th September and is aimed at increasing the skill level of participants.
A child is born with cerebral palsy, a physical condition that primarily affects movement, every 18 hours (Source: www.cerebralpalsyaustralia.com).
The international classifier for Cerebral Palsy International Sports & Recreation Association (CPISRA) has been to two international competitions for Paralympic athletes and wants to raise awareness that this type of sport is available.
Morrell said: “A classification system enables children to compete on a level playing field with peers that have a similar level of impairment.”
Australia narrowly missed out on gaining a place for the Paralympics at the World Championships in the Netherlands last year.
“Attending international competitions has shown me what skill level is possible for these athletes,” said Morrell.
Guest coaches will deliver skills sessions followed by a short game. The game will follow the rules of 7-a-side football as published by CPISRA.
A football fan herself, Morrell said, “I’m a bit of a sports tragic . . . I could watch soccer all day.”
Paralympic 7-a-side football teams will be competing at the Paralympics Games in London in the first week of September.