ARMED with a footy, their favourite football club’s jersey and gold coins pupils at St Patrick’s Primary School are kicking goals for All Abilities AusKick.
Schoolyards are typically abuzz on the last day of school – but Friday’s lunch fare of pies, afternoon game of football and a football parade resulted in excitement reaching fever pitch.
Ballarat Football League, which launched All Abilities Auskick, had been wanting to start such a group for a while but needed the right people to get it started.
Ballarat mum Kellie Tait, whose four-year-old son has autism, enquired and the Auskick group grew.
“Auskick was a bit too fast-paced, there were too many kids and not enough one-on-one time for him to keep up,” Ms Tait said.
“I thought there were probably a lot of kids missing out who love sport and sports statistics and don’t get out to do much physical sport.”
The program considers sensory issues for children and is flexible enough to run at their pace, with some fun time factored in.
St Patrick’s SRC teacher Narelle Lamb said a football day was an annual event at the school. This year she opted to donate all the gold coins the children brought in to the program, so all children would have the opportunity to embrace football.
“We do a football day every year. This year we heard about All abilities AusKick and thought it was a great program to give money too,” Ms Lamb said.
“Children and involved and so it football – so it really fits into what we do here.”
Grade 6 pupil Felicity was dressed in North Melbourne’s colours.
The avid fan was slightly disappointed by her team’s failure to reach to the second week of finals after an impressive start the season which deteriorated rapidly.
“We had a parade and had hot dogs, pies and raffle so it was lots of fun,” Felicity said.
As a North Melbourne supporter she was among the minority at the school.
The majority of children were sporting Richmond, Collingwood or Geelong colours.
One young boy was the sole Brisbane supporter.