Coinciding with the start of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, City in the Community began delivering Blind Football sessions to Victorian secondary schools as part of the Club’s One City Disability awareness school program.
Helping raise awareness of people with a disability, the Club launched its Blind Football program at Reservoir High School, with year 7 students taking part in the first week of the program.
The program uses blind football as a tool to educate Year 7 students about disability, in particular blindness and vision loss. Students ‘step into the shoes’ of a person who is blind or vision impaired, with City in the Community coaches and adult blind footballers taking the students through a variety of fun blind football activities.
B1 Blind Football is an internationally recognised sport played at the Paralympics. It is currently being contested by eight teams in Rio, with host nation Brazil holding the title of reigning World and Paralympic champions.
It is played outdoors by blind and partially vision impaired athletes on a 42 x22m pitch with side boards and the use of an audible ball. There are two teams of five; four outfield players and a goalkeeper. The outfield players were eye-shades to equal their sight and the goalkeeper can be fully or partially sighted.
The One City Disability Awareness program has been made possible through a Westpac Foundation grant and is taking place at a number of secondary schools in the north of Melbourne during September and October.
Brian Sukiewicz delivers coaching masterclass.
The Club’s recently established City in the Community Football Network was privileged to have Brian Suskiewicz from Coaches Across Continents deliver an expert practical session this week.
Coaches Across Continents is a global leader in the sport for social impact movement and their staff travel the world to up-skill local coaches, volunteers and programmers to develop and deliver football activity that can educate, motivate and strengthen communities.
Brian was able to demonstrate a number of football activities that can be used to build communication, confidence and inclusion. Additionally some of these activities encouraged problem solving skills and collaboration.
Members of the City in the Community Football network include those who use football to work with disadvantaged groups, people with disabilities, refugees and asylum seekers and are primarily motivated to use football to help grow and develop people and their communities.
Brian’s session was enthusiastically received and helped broaden the knowledge of attendees with fun, challenging and meaningful activities they could adapt to their own programs.
City in the Community are now convening quarterly forums to bring together people from across the sector to collaborate, share information and access professional development opportunities with special guest speakers and trainers.