[by Gavin Broomhead]
Mossman State Primary School students with JGFA coaches Cristian Couto (left) and Naldo Campos (right). Image: supplied
FNQ soccer academy kicking goals for children with disabilities
Jamie Gosling Football Academy (JGFA) has teamed up with Mossman State Primary School to deliver Far North Queensland’s first soccer program specifically designed for children with disabilities.
The JGFA Inclusive Football Program gives opportunities for school-aged children (4-17 years) living with a disability to be engaged in regular football coaching and games.
The program is supported by local fuel company Marano’s Fuel, who raised the necessary funds during the opening of their Draper Street service station in Cairns in December.
JGFA Director Jamie Gosling said the program focuses not only on football, but also on health and wellbeing, gross motor skills, social inclusion, self-confidence, and self-esteem.
“Football is the most popular team sport in the world, because anyone can enjoy kicking a football in their back yard, at the local park, at school or at their local club,” said Jamie.
“This program is about ensuring children with disabilities have the same opportunity to play the beautiful game as any other child.
“We aim to provide a safe and encouraging football environment for all people in the community, and it’s great to see aproject like this coming to fruition.
“I’d like to say a huge thanks to Marano’s Fuel for their ongoing support, and Mossman State Primary School for embracing this project.
“We’re so excited to be working with the school and its students, and are very grateful for the opportunity to make a difference.
“At JGFA, we’re passionate about making sure kids get equal opportunities, such as our JGFA Indigenous Scholarship Program which we also run.”
The JGFA coaching team currently visit Mossman State Primary School once a week to deliver the JGFA Inclusive Football Program.
Mossman State School Special Education Teacher Laura Gray said students now have the opportunity to learn soccer skills in a safe and fun environment, in line with the recent statewide Education Queensland initiative of ‘Every Student Succeeding’.
“Jamie and his coaches provide challenging, inclusive learning experiences that allow all students to experience success,” she said.
“It’s important that people see the whole child, not just the disability, and Jamie and his coaches do just that.
“They have high expectations and create a supportive learning environment which allows each child to shine.”
JGFA is now looking at further funding and grants opportunities, with the hope of running and expanding the JGFA Inclusive Football Program on a long-term basis across Far North Queensland.
“My vision is to give all students, regardless of their ability, social, cultural or community background, the opportunity to access and participate in programs that are tailored to meet their individual needs,” said Jamie.
“We’re now looking to expand the program so we can reach even more children who might not have previously had the opportunity to play football, and help them enjoy the proven benefits it brings in regards to physical and emotional wellbeing."
If you interested in supporting the JGFA Inclusive Football Program, email call Jamie on 0450 181 626.
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