Club News

Back to News

Footy really is for everyone.

Posted: 01-Jul-2014 by All Abilities

Photo of all attendees at the footy event
Click on the image above to see more photos from the Footy 'Come and Try' Event

A big thank-you to the Junior and Senior AJAX Football Club’s!

On Sunday 29th of June 2014, the AJAX FC was supported by Maccabi Victoria All Abilities and FIDA to host the inaugural Footy ‘Come and Try’ day for All Abilities members.

The AJAX FC invited All Abilities members to participate in a three-part pilot footy program at Princes Park in South Caulfield. The program enabled Jewish individuals with a disability to partake in an event that offered both active and non-active sporting and recreational opportunities thereby catering to everyone’s individual needs.

We were fortunate enough to have significant representation from both the Junior and Senior AJAX FC, including the Club Presidents Dan Antman and Ronnie Lewis, club volunteers/officials and committee members including Craig Joel, David Fisher, Harry Jacobs and Rod Nirens, club coaches and several senior AJAX FC players including Nick Marks (Captain), Josh Ludski, Brandon Joel and Michael Shafar. These four players enabled the program to be representative of true integration; it did not feel like a stand alone event for people with disabilities, but rather a group of people with all types of abilities, coming together to share in their love of footy. The boys got actively involved in the event and joined in alongside the All Abilities participants. 

All Abilities Inclusion Coordinator, Lauren Mandel, and disability support worker, Miriam Bush, also supported the event. The Coordinator was responsible for liaising with the Club and FIDA to finalise the details for the event as well as promotion, marketing and supporting All Abilities attendees. Lauren will continue to work with the clubs to develop this program further.  

The first part of the program required the group to sit back, relax and enjoy learning about footy by watching the AJAX under 17 boys match as well as catching up with each other, making new friends and engaging with the community. This satisfied our key objectives of integrating our All Abilities members into the mainstream community and ensuring that they are seen and appreciated as valued members of society. We hope that this will improve community perceptions and promote inclusion and tolerance.

The next portion incorporated active sporting involvement. The AJAX FC invited us to participate in a 45-minute footy clinic in the club change rooms. The session was kindly organised and implemented by Logan Whitaker, the Administration Manager of FIDA Football, a league of Aussie Rules Footy for people with an intellectual disability. During this period, the group learned new ball handling, tackling, hand passing and goal-shooting skills. Despite the wet weather, the group conquered the tasks and demonstrated tremendous footy skills.

To finish off the Footy ‘Come and Try’ event, the AJAX FC generously donated a delicious and healthy kosher-catered afternoon tea including drinks, hot dogs, fruit sticks and more. Everyone enjoyed the well-deserved treat, following their hard work in the active clinic. The Senior AJAX FC President, Ronnie Lewis, kindly presented all nine attendees with a warm AJAX memorabilia scarf, which was particularly appropriate given the cold, wet weather.

Overall this was an extremely successful event that has received nothing but good feedback. The AJAX Club and Maccabi Victoria All Abilities are getting excited about our next partnership event, attending an AFL game in mid-August. We are also now discussing some potential long-term plans, such as ensuring that this becomes an annual event that may prosper eventually into our very own AJAX All Abilities footy team, entered into the FIDA league!

Maccabi Victoria All Abilities Facebook Page
Easy English
About Maccabi All Abilities
What Can I Play?
Past Events
Community Calendar of Events 2016
For More Information