Football Victoria (FV) has taken a great step for making sports more accessible to all announcing last week that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Australian Blind Football (ABF).
The ABF signing furthers FV’s FootbALLways strategy, committed to providing football for all.
FV’s support will will help deliver more programs – both directly and through Clubs – for all ages, genders, abilities and vision loss, including assistance with facilities, events and awareness.
FV Interim CEO, Kimon Taliadoros, celebrated the announcement.
“FootbALLways is about uniting, inspiring and enabling Victorians of all backgrounds to live and love football, for life. We’re committed to making the game more accessible to all members of our community, including blind and partially sighted Victorians, by supporting organisations like ABF,” Mr Taliadoros said.
As part of an initiative driven by Blind Sports Australia, ABF is also working with the Football Federation Australia to become recognised as the official pathway for people who are blind or vision impaired to play football for Australia.
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Two versions of blind football are played; Blind football (B1 or 5 a side football) is played by athletes who are totally blind and vision impaired futsal (partially sighted futsal) is played by athletes who are vision impaired.
“The power of football reaches far beyond the health benefits of staying active. We know our game brings people together, building communities and connections. We look forward to working together with ABF, enabling greater access to the world game and all its benefits for blind and partially sighted Victorians,” Mr Taliadoros said.
National Coordinator of Blind Football at ABF Dave Connolly believes the relationship with FV has the power to foster a greater connection between blind or partially sighted Victorians with their communities.
“Our goal is to ensure more Australians who are blind or partially sighted have access to physical activity and a connection with their communities, particularly during a year where the need for social connection has been heightened. Therefore, we are excited to be working with the team at Football Victoria, and the broader football community, to make this a reality,” Mr Connolly said.