State Workshop for Special Needs Football


Attended by representatives from programs in Bankstown, Nepean, St Ives, Sutherland, West Pennant Hills, West Pymble, Southern Districts, Illawarra and as far away as Blayney, the group of 30 delegates and guests from Special Olympics, Recreation Illawarra Disability Trust and NSW Department of Sport & recreation met to discuss existing special needs programs and to share their expertise, experiences and advice on how to provide the best opportunities for these players and their families.
The evening commenced with an informative and moving presentation by Gary Lockwood from Titans FC outlining the Titan?s program and the uniqueness of this special needs club operating within the Sutherland Shire Junior Football Association.
A highlight of the workshop was a presentation by Norm Boardman, FNSW Technical Director of Coaching which involved a practical and often entertaining exercise where delegates identified the attributes of a special needs coach and the benefits of football for special needs players.   All agreed that a kind heart, a welcoming approach and being a good listener were the three main ingredients to coaching kids with special needs.
Part two of the workshop was a forum hosted by Michelle Hanley, FNSW Risk Manager and Larry Grant, Competition Secretary Community Football to discuss member protection and risk management and to seek feedback on how Football NSW can further assist in supporting these worthy programs and provide more opportunity for special needs football.
In acknowledging the physical and social benefits of special needs football, Football NSW is now looking to host a state run gala day for special needs teams in 2008 and with nine special needs programs currently in place it is likely that clubs and associations in other areas will now look to establishing similar programs to provide enjoyment and inclusion opportunities for special needs players.
For more information about Special needs programs click here 
To find out more about the Special Needs Gala Day contact Larry Grant on 88144451.