A huge week of CP (cerebral palsy) football will kick-off at Valentine Sports Park (VSP) on Thursday with six squads descending on Football New South Wales’ headquarters in Glenwood for the 2019 National CP Football Championships.
The Gold Fields WA State Paras flew out of Perth on Wednesday morning, along with Matilda Mason, who will become the first WA female player to play at National Championships when she represents the ACT.
Their first game is against NSW Blue at 8.30am (6.30am WST). Their second match of the day is against NSW White.
Between October 3 and 6, the six state teams will contest the 2019 National CP Football Championships, a tournament that has been held since 2004 and which serves as a talent identifier and pathway for the Australian National CP Football Team, the Pararoos.
New South Wales has won 14 of the 15 National CP Football Championships held since 2004, however with the sport continuing to grow in both popularity and participation Australia-wide, this year Football NSW will have two squads (NSW White & NSW Blue) vying for the title.
Along with those two sides and Football West, Capital Football, Football Federation South Australia and Football Victoria will also be represented at the tournament, which will feature six matches for each squad.
“Everyone is really looking forward to this year’s National CP Championships,” Pararoos Head Coach Kai Lammert said.
“Over the last few years we have witnessed strong growth in both the interest and participation of CP football around Australia, and while the teams will all be competing strongly to claim the title, this event also enables us to bring the CP football community together for a great few days.
“The Pararoos recently returned from the IFCPF World Cup in Spain, and with the squad set for more exposure and tournaments in the coming years our staff will be keeping a close eye on all the players participating at this year’s Championship as we seek to unearth more national team representatives for the future,” he said.
Following the 2019 National CP Football Championships, the focus of Australia’s CP football community will shift to the hosting of the first ever Regional Female CP Football Camp.
Between October 8 and 12, VSP will play host to the camp which will include twelve players from Australia and four from Japan.
FFA is running the camp in conjunction with the International Federation of CP Football (IFCPF) and Football NSW, and it is envisaged that the camp will serve as the launchpad for a national CP women’s football team.
“The inaugural 2019 Asia-Oceania Regional Female CP Football Camp will feature players from Sydney, regional NSW, Western Australia, Tasmania, and also four participants from Japan, and demonstrates Australia’s eagerness to advance CP football for women in the region,” Lammert added.
The 2019 Pararoos and Zest Care National CP Football Championships Dinner will be held on Friday, 4 October 2019. Guests including Caltex Socceroos Head Coach Graham Arnold, Westfield Matildas Head Coach Ante Milicic, and Pararoos Head Coach Kai Lammert will be among the attendees at the dinner at Rydges Norwest, Baulkham Hills. Media are welcome to attend the red carpet arrivals at this event from 6.00pm.
The Pararoos are seeking donations through their partnership with the Australian Sports Foundation (ASF) to support their footballing journey. The Pararoos want to break through the top ten rankings, unearth the next generation of players through Pararoos Development Centres, and use their platform to create inclusive opportunities for the millions of people in Australia living with a disability. Donations are tax deductible and can be made online via www.pararoos.com.au.