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We all have the ability to volunteer

Posted: 23-Jun-2014 by All Abilities

All Abilities member with the North Caulfield Football Club team
Click on the image above to see more photos from the 'Soccer Games Assistant' Program

Maccabi Victoria All Abilities is going from strength to strength to enable its members to participate in a variety of sporting and recreational events. Generally this has involved active participation in sport such as basketball, tenpin bowling, lawn bowls, table tennis and more. We are now also directing our focus to incorporate non-playing roles in our mainstream clubs; this involves inviting our members to volunteer as games assistants.

Last Sunday (22.06.14), All Abilities member Joshua Ferenbach commenced his role as the Soccer Games Assistant for the North Caulfield Football Club. He was involved in game preparation, team warm-ups, water bearing and completed the referee security walk. Josh enjoyed meeting the players and said “I’m part of the team now!”  He even gave himself the title of ‘assistant coach’ and told the players “You gotta talk to each other and man up!” Josh will be fulfilling his duties in this role for 5 weeks over the course of the teams winter season, at their home games in Caulfield Park. This pilot program exists as our first structured non-playing initiative for the All Abilities and will become a model of best practice that we hope will be adopted into other Maccabi Victoria mainstream clubs.

Josh’s role came about following great initiation from the NCFC’s president Morris Ritz who was eager to develop an inclusive program. Ritz presented this notion to their board and all were keen to support the cause.  The rest is history. Ritz stated, “We hope that this program will then be incorporated into other clubs in Maccabi. I think they would all value the assistance of the All Abilities members. We’re so happy to support this fantastic initiative”.

The coach of the NCFC senior team, Andrew Freund also jumped aboard and has shown great support of Josh’s new role. He will be Josh’s key contact and directing the movement of the program. We thank Ritz, Freund and the NCFC for your support of the Maccabi Victoria All Abilities program. We are thrilled that you have opened up your club and invited people with all abilities to become recognised as a vital part of the club, be incorporated into the team and have the opportunity to build friendships with the mainstream players.

There are five main objectives of this program:

  1. To pilot a five-week program enabling an individual with a disability to participate in non-playing role for the North Caulfield Football Club
  2. To enable an All Abilities member to be integrated into the NCFC
  3. To develop a partnership between the NCFC football club and Maccabi Victoria All Abilities
  4. To offer an integrated event that will improve community perceptions and promote inclusion and tolerance
  5. To provide respite for parents and carers of people with disabilities

We look forward to seeing this program develop as a model of best practice and hopefully change the face of many mainstream Club’s to encompass a rich culture devoted to inclusion and tolerance. 

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