I love playing football and am playing my fourth season this year. I was diagnosed with low vision last year when I was playing with my junior league team. Having low vision for me means that I don’t have any 3 dimensional vision or depth perception. This obviously makes playing the game I love very, very hard.
Yesterday I read the article about the Pararoo’s funding going from $175,000 a year to nothing I couldn’t believe it!
I know that is not a lot of money to go around when it comes to supporting sports. I can see that because professional women in sport still have to work to make ends meet, and I know that there is even less for athletes with a disability. I even know that there is only a very small amount dedicated to blind sports.
Yesterday when I read about the Pararoo’s funding being cut off completely I couldn’t help but be angry and sad and disappointed.
I was upset to listen to the video on the Australian Sports Commission Website about how funding gets divided up, and I it makes me feel angry to think that football should ever be about winning medals or to read that funding was cut off because of the Pararoo’s ranking.
The Socceroo’s world ranking is at 62nd the Matilda’s are 9th, are they going to have there funding axed too? Of course they aren’t there would be a huge outcry!
Since when is sport meant to be about how many medals a team wins? What would happen if every Mum or Dad said to their kid ‘I’m not going to pay your football fees unless you win’?
Now that I have had time to adjust to my low vision it its not so bad but I still have to work ten times as hard as my new teammates to get the same results. For me there is no other option in football that suits my needs other than to play in a mainstream league, But the thing is their are some kids out there that have much bigger limitations than me.
If the Football Federation and the Australian Sports Commission are taking away the money for our countries only Paralympics football team that allows athletes with a disability to play, what hope is there for us kids? What do we have to aim for? What happens to our hero’s? How is that promoting encouragement, respect or inclusion?
My question and challenge for you is, if I can get 175,000 supporters to pledge and provide $1 each will you match it dollar for dollar?