Competition is stiff as players in the inaugural WA Blind AFL season prepare for round three on Saturday, with the Eagles and Dockers teams facing off following a win apiece.
This Saturday’s game is the last one before the 26 March Super Saturday Finals Day. The season has been hosted by the City of Cockburn’s accessible Cockburn ARC facility where indoor courts provide a controlled environment to allow vision-impaired competitors to utilise their hearing.
City of Cockburn Disability Access and Inclusion Officer Ben Rowe, who is chairperson of Blind Sports WA, a long-time Australian Goalball player and a player for the Fremantle team, said the season had been an unreserved success.
“We’ve had lots of interest from the vision-impaired community and from sports lovers in general because it is very skilled and competitive,” Mr Rowe said.
“I also encourage people who are blind or have low vision who still want to have a try to come down over the next two Saturdays to have a go and get involved.”
Mr Rowe was instrumental in having the competition based at Cockburn ARC where the close proximity of the train station at Cockburn Central was an attractive practical consideration.
“There was an appetite for more inclusive sports to be held at Cockburn ARC after it hosted the City’s popular Disability Sporting Day event on International Day of People with Disability last December.”
WA All Abilities Football Association executive officer Hayden Marchetto said the most important factors in taking part in the competition were the social, emotional, and personal growth associated with being part of a team and the general enjoyment of being part of something.
“A game of Blind AFL looks and feels like traditional Australian football, with slight adaptions to rules and modifications to equipment, it provides the support required to play a game of football,” Mr Marchetto said.
“The experience of football is overwhelmingly positive.”
The Eagles team won the first-round match, and the Dockers tied the series with a win in round two.
Be part of the action at Cockburn ARC, 31 Veterans Parade, Cockburn Central over the next two Saturdays between 2pm and 4pm.
For more information about playing vision-impaired AFL, visit the WA Blind AFL website
or email [email protected]