11 Sep Just for kicks
The Bermagui Kickability program has come to an end for 2017. Kickability came about in 2016 when two Bermagui mums, Fran Trenerry and Tanya Neilson, frustrated by the lack of extra-curricular activities for children with disabilities, decided to take matters in their own hands and approached the Ability Links team at Uniting for funding.
“We had 60 local schools kids who could train with the local football club, the Bermagui Breakers, and 10 to 15 kids who loved their sports but couldn’t be a part of it because of their disabilities and we wanted to change this.”
The two mums successfully received the funding from Ability Links at Uniting and the Bermagui Kickability program was created in partnership with the Bermagui Breakers Football Club.
Michael Trenerry, Fran’s husband and Kickability coach, assessed the children’s strengths and weaknesses and consulted with an AFL junior liaison officer to adapt an AFL program to fit the children’s abilities.
“I am very excited to be a part of it,” said Michael. “The biggest thing for me was the response from parents and how excited they were to see their kids involved in the team environment and within the football club here in Bermagui. The kids loved it and were all here to have a good time with their peers and were very keen to learn new skills. Between the combination of having very excited parents and some very excited kids, being a coach is the easiest job in the word.”
Enthusiasm is contagious as demonstrated by 18 year old Gavin. “I love football, I love it! I love being here and I love my new fans,” he said
12 year old Tyson added, “I love Kickability program. People with disabilities should be able to play football like we do. Hopefully everyone will get encouraged by this.”
“Kickability is all about kids with learning disabilities to be naturally included and to have fun together,” said Fran. “The children have become friends, part of a team and part of club and this is what we hoped for.”
Kickability ran from April to August and will be running again next year. Fran and Michael also recently found out that they successfully received a grant to create a cricket team. For more details about the upcoming Kickability program, follow the Bermagui Breakers Football Club Facebook page.