break for Special Olympics WA / All-Stars Program (intellectual disability pathway; see below)
Football West’s Commitment to All Abilities Access and Inclusion
Football West’s vision is that we make the game accessible and a great experience for all.
All through the WA community are people whose lives and mental and physical wellbeing could benefit from participation in genuine inclusive and accessible football environments.
Many Western Australians with a wide range of ability levels play regularly because of the thrills and simplicity once you have a ball, some objects to mark out goals and space. In 2018 at least 540 people with a disability registered at WA clubs.
Football West, member clubs and partner organisations work hard to improve access and inclusion for the community through football with inclusive practices designed to ensure that people of all abilities can:
freely express who they are;
fully participate in football and football-related social activities as members, players, officials and volunteers;
feel safe from abuse, harassment or unfair criticism; and
get on with achieving to their highest potential without getting bogged down by concerns over perceptions of disability or inexperience.
Clubs and coaches are encouraged to familiarise and adopt the best practice principles in this guide into their practices.
Football West is a proud member of WA Disability Sports Association.
Football West is committed to ensuring that the objectives in the Football Federation Australia’s Disability Policy are implemented to reflect inclusive practices throughout all participation, we will assist to promote positive and informed attitudes towards people with a disability.
Football West will take reasonable steps to identify and eliminate unlawful direct, indirect and systemic discrimination from its structures and practices and will ensure that people with disability are afforded reasonable opportunity to participate in all areas of football.
Employees and volunteers shall, within their areas of responsibility, take any reasonable steps to remove any barriers which exist to programs and services, and the physical, social and virtual environment.
Important Information: At all levels of the game; insurance considerations may be different for players who have previously suffered an injury.
Disabilities in Football – Player Achievement Award (David Cantoni Medal)
The annual Disabilities in Football – Player Achievement Award (David Cantoni Medal) is presented to a player who has stood out with their performance and contribution to our sport in the previous 12 months.
2019 Award Winner Emily Casella
Emily Casella received a note of distinction for her 2018 nomination for the same award.
In 2019 she became Australia’s first female Special Olympics footballer when she represented Australia as a defender against stronger and bigger opponents in a team which earned silver medals in UAE.
She has been a consistent attendee at all her club training sessions and Equal Footingball Division matches where she played in any part of the pitch her coach called for and finished Tuart Hill JSC’s top goalscorer with 14 goals and third overall in Division One. This helped her team finish off the bottom of the ladder for the first time and into second place.
Her regular participation at various levels of the game belies her challenge of shyness and reservation associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Football West’s Age Concessions Program has allowed young players with various competitive disadvantages (including disabilities), more playing levels to ensure fun and inclusion.
With the support of a club and parents, a child with a competitive disadvantage can apply and receive clearance to play in a lower age group to reduce competitive disadvantage relative to peers. Contact the Football West competitions department on 6181 0700 for details.
Special Olympics WA and Football West All-Stars Program
Football West is proud to work with Special Olympics WA (SO) in the drive for wider community inclusion in sport. More players are welcome – contact Special Olympics WA for details. Special Olympics-eligible players can be selected for the WA All-Stars team which plays occasional matches against other local teams, preparing players for the Special Olympics pathway. It rewards coaches and players who show strong effort, enthusiasm and results in local competitions.
2020 WA All-Stars dates: TBA
2018 National Games squad
We congratulate Team WA:
winners of the gold medals at the 2017 Junior Nationals Games in Football
winners of the bronze medals in the 7-a-side competition at the 2018 National Games
winners of the bronze medals in the 5-a-side competition at the 2018 National Games
Football West supported the 2018 National Games teams touring Adelaide in April.
SO athletes are encouraged to register with local clubs to access regular game-play and training preparation in the lead-up to state games, national games and international games. Equal Footingball Division training and games are similar to the SO football format.
Inquiries to Football West’s Inclusive Participation Officer, Gordon Duus: 0410 659 422 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Blind Football WA
With the support of Football West, National Disability Services and a Department of Sport and Recreation grant, WA Blind Sports Federation is establishing a Blind Football program in Western Australia. The successful launch had over 20 participants on September 16 2017 trialing the format where anyone who can wear a blindfold and independently move around a small futsal sized pitch can play, though people with vision impairment tend to have a great advantage.
Powerchair Football is a modified format using electric wheelchairs many people use for daily life. The game’s rules ensure players are constantly involved with a fast and free-flowing tactically intelligent game. Four players each team play with chairs fitted with safety devices with a larger than normal ball on a small hard-surface pitch.