The Football4all Gala Day continues to break records as it was treated with over 400 participants playing football on Sunday at Valentine Sports Park.
It was a festival like atmosphere with over 40 teams participating in small-sided games, off-field activities, celebrations and lunch.
The weather was perfect throughout the course of the day as the likes of Emma Husar Federal Member for Lindsay, Kevin Connolly State Member for Riverstone, Stephen Bali Mayor of Blacktown and player appearances from Pararoos (Ben Atkins, Ben Sutton and Taj Lynch) and Westfield Matildas star Kyah Simon all took part in the popular event.
There were also player appearances from Hyundai A-League clubs Western Sydney Wanderers Jumpei Kusukami, John Hall, Jacob Melling and Central Coast Mariners player Adam Berry who handed out medals and showbags to congratulate participants.
The popular off-field activates were in full use as Western Sydney Wanderers activations, ALDI MiniRoos shoot out and the Spiderman Jumping caste were occupied by players all day.
Socceroos Mascot ‘Maloo’ also made a guest appearance giving high fives and posing for snaps with teams.
Newly appointed Football NSW CEO Stuart Hodge attended the Gala Day in his first week and was amazed by the fantastic event that took place at the ‘Home of Football’.
“Football4all was a great event to kick off my time at Football NSW and I was extremely pleased that I had the opportunity to experience this event in my first week.
“The reaction of the children and their parents showed the tremendous value of this event.
“The experience of playing football will mean so much to them and will benefit them well beyond the sporting field.
“Football NSW is committed to supporting opportunity for people with disabilities to participate in football as players, coaches, referees or administrators and we are committed to developing an environment where accessibility and diversity are valued and nurtured."
Sony PlayStation also gave away a PlayStation 4 prize to a lucky participant who had been attending the Gala Day since 2008.
Balmain and District FC, Blue Mountains Kangaroos, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Football-Connect Capital Football, Hills Knights Kickaroos, Kellyville SC ‘Super Soccer’, Kings Langley Open Goals, Macarthur Magic Special Needs FC, Marrickville FC ‘Flaming Devils’, Mt Druitt Town Rangers Futsal Club, Nepean Football Dragons, North Rocks Rockerballers, NWSWF PINK football4all, Randwick City FC ‘Purple Hearts’, Rouse Hills Rams football4all, Snapp-a-roos, St Ives FC, Sutherland Titans FC, Wagga Wagga Football4all, West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook FC and individuals all took part in the momentous event.
Football NSW’s Community Game Development Office and Gala Day Event Organiser Demelza Howard was extremely pleased with how the Gala Day unfolded.
“This year’s Gala Day grew once again from 2016, showing the strength of growth in inclusion football that plays a special role in ‘the world game’.
“It was great to see many participants scoring goals and enjoying a day full of football especially the teams that travelled from ACT and Wagga Wagga.
“I would like to thank all the team coordinators and volunteers for their endless passion and time given in providing football opportunities for all participants.”
Powerchair Football were also in attendance for the fifth successive year with over 40 players who showed off their talents on the day.
Junior and senior matches in the NSW Powerchair Football League took shape across the day as Western Sydney Wanderers clashed with Central Coast Mariners whilst Sydney FC took on the Newcastle Jets
Football NSW wishes to thank all the clubs, associations, staff and volunteers who were involved in making the day such a success and would like to especially congratulate all the participants, coaches and family members for their inspirational support for the 2017 Football4all Gala Day.