Melbourne City FC's community department have been working hard to bring the world game to everyone. See what they have been doing in the community over the past couple of weeks.
Melbourne City supports Disability Sport and Recreation Festival
Federation Square came alive on 3 December as people ventured out on a grey day to explore a range of sporting and recreational activities available for those with a disability. Melbourne City FC was there and attracted an enthusiastic array of participants keen to try the activities organised by Game Development Officers Louisa Bisby and Simon Zappia
This event was part of a week-long festival held annually by Disability Sport and Recreation (DSR). Tim Nield, manager of community and member services at DSR, explained that only a quarter of Victorians with a disability participate in sport and recreation, and the festival is a way to improve this situation.
“As the peak body for disability sport in Victoria, we see that as our role to try and bring everyone together and to showcase what is available,” Nield said.
He explained that the aim of the festival is to bring together a range of different sport and recreation providers, health organisations, local councils, and others providing sport and recreation opportunities for people with a disability. Football was one of a variety of sports on offer. DSR runs 7-a-side football contests in Victoria.
“Melbourne City support 7-a-side football which has got development pathways all the way up to State level,” said Nield.
He explained that this form of the game suits people with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury and those who have experienced a stroke, and that Melbourne City FC would be hosting a demonstration game on the last day of the festival.
“That’s something positive that Melbourne City are doing and we’re glad that we can continue that relationship with them,” he said.
Melbourne City FC GDO's Louisa Bisby and Simon Zappia each had a turn at blind football, trying to move around and kick a ball whilst they were blindfolded. He explained that it is a 5-a-side game using an audible ball, and that “eye masks level out the vision impairment” of the players. The goalkeepers are sighted.
It was a rewarding day at Federation Square and a joy to see the enthusiasm of participants as they took part in the exciting sport and recreation opportunities available to them. Melbourne City is proud to be involved in this important community festival.
DSR can be contacted for further information by ringing (03) 9473 0133 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Carey Grammar v Ivanhoe Grammar (APS V AGSV FINAL)
Ivanhoe Grammar have claimed the converted APS/AGSV schools title via a dramatic penalty shootout against APS champions Carey Grammar with the match hosted by Melbourne City FC at AAMI Park.
Having lost the final last year the Ivanhoe boys were keen to make amends with a passionate crowd behind them but neither side could be separated at the full time whistle with the match forced into the dreaded penalty shootout to decide the winner.
Ivanhoe goalkeeper Evan Markogiannakis was the hero for his side, saving two penalties, to secure the title to the delight of the hundreds of Parents and supporters in attendance.
Markogiannakis, who is on the books at NPLV club Heidelberg United was delighted to get the result having played in the schools loss in last year’s final.
‘’It was fantastic to get the result today after having let ourselves down in last year’s final.’’
‘’It was an amazing experience to get the opportunity to play here at AAMI Park and to get the win on penalties just shows the character of the players we have here.’’
Those sentiments were echoed by midfielder Ollie Daly, who missed an international trip with his club side to Fiji in order to play in the decider.
‘’It was a once in a lifetime experience getting the opportunity to play here and I am just delighted that we could get the result.’’
‘’’Thankyou to everyone involved at Melbourne City in organising this event, it was an amazing experience.’’
Victorian Schools Championships Presentations
Students from both Overnewton Grammar and Ivanhoe Girls Grammar are presented with the Victorian Schools Championship pennant by Nick Kalmar (Above)
Another pre match event hosted by Melbourne City was the presentation of the Victorian Schools championships pennants by star midfielder Nick Kalmar.
Players from Overnewton Grammar and Ivanhoe Girls Grammar were awarded with medallions following victorious performances at the 2014 Victorian Schools Championships.
Excited students from both schools were then given an opportunity to pose for photos in front of over 7,000 people the match between Melbourne City FC and Brisbane Roar just minutes away from taking place.
Half Time Small Sided Games (Disability Week)
Following on from Melbourne City’s disabilities week activities, young girls and boys suffering from various incapacities such as Blindness and Cerebral Palsy were given the opportunity to play in mini games at half time of the Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar match.
Organisations such as Disability Sport and Recreation, Blind Sports Victoria and the Victorian Special Olympics worked hand in hand with Melbourne City to organise an unforgettable experience for the young men and women who have had to battle with disabilities their whole lives.
Disability Sport and Recreation were one of the many mental health organisations present on Sunday (Above)
A Blind Sports Victoria volunteer lauded the initiative which gave a number of young men and women the chance to realise a dream of playing the game they love in front of thousands at AAMI Park.
‘’It is fantastic to see Blind Soccer get some exposure like this in front of thousands of people.’’ he said.
‘’I’ve been coaching the blind for a few years now and it is amazing to see that the big clubs like Melbourne City are taking notice like this.’’
Juniors from Peninsula Strikers Soccer club were also given the opportunity to play mini games at half time with a range of players between the ages of seven and nine taking part.
Melbourne City FC Community in the media