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Inclusion, Acceptance and Putting Sport Into Persepctive

21 Aug Inclusion, Acceptance and Putting Sport Into Persepctive

The Modern Game is an organization that provides the framework and resources to support the coaches and players of community football and sporting clubs.

Our philosophy and mission is to educate coaches, via our robust coaching framework, that junior football (sport) is not all about scoreboard results; it is about ‘developing and improving’ the children with their sports skills and their general life skills. If the focus is on these areas, ‘everyone will feel included and enjoy the experience’.

Back in October 2011, The Modern Game formed a partnership with Ferntree Gully Eagles Junior Football Club. We have assisted the club and their coaches through our coaching development workshops and through our relationship with the coaches and club we were introduced to their “AllAbilities Team”.

The coming together of the AllAbilities Team has been a culmination of 3 year journey for the club and their first game was held on Sunday 29th April, 2012 – The Modern Game was invited to this very special occasion.

Wow, what an emotional experience and one we were so proud to be a small part of!

The team is coached by Tim Beare who is a disability worker in his professional life and he had a unique ability to communicate with each player; understanding the different learning styles and more importantly, what each player wanted to experience from the occasion. Some of the players really wanted to play well and have an impact on the game where others just wanted to be INCLUDED and Tim made sure this happened.

During the game, players waved to the crowd, some got tired and sat down in the middle of the oval and the umpire continually gave each player an opportunity to have a kick or just touch the football (if they wanted to). Throughout it all, the parents stood from afar with tears and smiles; watching their beautiful children playing out their dream of being a football player.

It was a breath of fresh air to see the coming together of people from all walks of life where there was no ‘expectation’ on winning or someone being the best player or why the umpire didn’t pay that free kick. It was just about everyone being INCLUDED.

The Ferntree Gully Eagles Junior Football Club should feel enormously proud of the positive impact they are having on so many families and lives. I know The Modern Game walked away very humbled.
Now we want to be INCLUDED!

Written by: Craig Winter

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