A new walking football (soccer) program will offer opportunities for South Australians living with neurological conditions or who have had a stroke to engage with the sport.
Everybody’s Game – a first of its kind in South Australia – is run by ACH Group in collaboration with Adelaide United Football Club, Football SA and Flinders University.
The free program kicks off in November with a come ‘n’ try session on November 4, followed by regular activities at local soccer clubs across Adelaide from mid-November to autumn 2022.
The program is open to people aged 30 – 65 who have had a stroke or who live with neurological conditions such as Younger Onset Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease and MND.
Participants will engage in club life and take part in weekly activities, including games and training sessions, with guest appearances from Adelaide United representatives.
ACH Group’s General Manager Service Design, Ivy Diegmann, said team sport improves physical health and wellbeing, with opportunities for social connections and friendship, however there are often barriers for people living with a disability to get involved.
“People with a disability don’t always feel comfortable to engage or play sport in a club environment. Additionally, coaches and volunteers at many grassroots clubs don’t have the right resources or understanding to run suitable programs,” she said.
“Everybody’s Game aims to tackle both barriers. To ensure the suitability of the training sessions and game rules, ACH Group is engaging with people living with neurological conditions, along with their carers, and local soccer clubs to shape the program.”
At the end of the program, a toolkit will be created and made available to soccer clubs across South Australia to increase their capacity to include people with diverse needs.
The come and try session on Thursday 4 November from 10am – 12pm will be held at the Adelaide Comets FC, located at Ellis Park on West Terrace. The program will be run at soccer clubs across metropolitan Adelaide from mid-November to autumn 2022.
If you or someone you know would like to take part in the program, attend the come and try session, or learn more about this opportunity visit achgroup.org.au/soccer for more information.
Everybody’s Game is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services