Footballers with a disability in Northern Victoria will be given the opportunity to play in their very own competition this year with the launch of the CVGT Australia Northern Conference.
Football Integration Development Association (FIDA) have for the first time formed a Northern Victoria conference that includes the Echuca Moama Rockets, GV Stars (Shepparton), Wodonga Jets and Wangaratta Magpies in an initiative designed to increase participation opportunities for footballers with a disability.
The four clubs have traditionally played-one off matches that often involved travelling to Melbourne but will now compete in their very own competition, with each club to host a round-robin carnival this year.
The opening round of the competition was originally set for this weekend but has been postponed to ensure the maximum amount of participants have the chance to be involved.
In another coup, employment services company CVGT Australia has come on board as a major sponsor to support the competition through their Disability Employment Services arm.
FIDA General Manager Logan Whitaker said there was huge excitement in the camps of the four teams.
“These guys and girls just love their football and they are extremely proud to have their own regular competition,” Whitaker said.
“FIDA competitions are about giving people with a disability an opportunity to be physical active, build friendships, improve their confidence and experience that feeling of belonging that comes with all football clubs.”
“The carnival format, with four days scheduled this year in the different cities, is designed to minimise the travel needed to be involved.”
CVGT Australia CEO Paul Green said as a Disability Employment Services provider, the company was pleased to be involved with the FIDA Northern Conference.
“As a company entrenched in Disability Employment Services, it was a logical step to get involved with FIDA,” he said.
“We are delighted to be a part of the FIDA CVGT Australia Northern Conference and wish all the players and everyone involved in Sunday’s event the very best.”