Road to the World Cup

About

Matildas. Socceroos. Pararoos. 

These are all our Australian National Teams and they all deserve to thrive and play.  However, as a result of The Australian Sports Commissions " Winning Edge" initiative the Pararoos have lost their funding.  While the Pararoos were ranked 11 in the world, this was not sufficient to secure ongoing funding. 

The FFA have helped bridge a significant amount of this funding since the cut in 2014, but the team must now raise $160,000 by June 30th if they want to pursue their 2019 World Cup dream. 

The football family is the largest sporting family in Australia and we need your help! 

The Pararoos represent the players with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders, including stroke and traumatic brain injury.  If they miss the Demark tournament, they will not be able to compete in the World Cup qualifying tournament. Thus, the team will be disbanded until after the 2019 World Cup.

These athletes have overcome things that most of us cannot even imagine facing.  Taylor Harvey woke up and was unable to move.  Chris Pyne slipped when he was 6 years old and when he woke up from a 6-week coma he could not walk, or talk.  And Gordon Allen was born with Cerebral Palsy Hemiplegia on his right side due to loss of oxygen at birth.  To these players, football is the release from everyday struggle.  It is a chance to feel accepted, normal, and a part of something great.

These elite players train just as hard as Mat Ryan and Lisa De Vanna.  They are as committed as Tim Cahill and Clare Polkinghorne.

They simply want the chance to represent Australia again on the world stage, and to send a signal to all Australians with a disability that they, too, can pursue their dream.

We need to help these Footballers play. It’s that simple. 
Give now and ensure the future for these athletes is not lost.

“Being a Pararoo means being the best you can be, no matter what.” – Angus MacGregor

Meet the Pararoos

Jarrod Law

"Being a Pararoo means everything. It means being a role model and giving the younger generation something to live and strive for."

Acquired Brain Injury in 1993

I had a stroke at birth, and I now have Cerebral Palsy and I am now a Pararoo. When I was growing up I realised I wasn’t the same as the other kids. I couldn’t do anything my peers were doing at school, until I had a football at my feet. I grew up in a footballing house so it was no surprise I loved football, but little did I know I would be travelling the world playing the sport I love. I still struggle with my disability on a daily basis but it all goes away when I step onto the pitch. I have had numerous operations, casts, splints, you name it and I’ve probably gone through it all. Life was never easy growing up with Cerebral Palsy.

I’ll never forget the first game of CP football I was ever involved in. I played for Queensland and that’s where my life changed forever, that was the day I saw people that had the exact same problem as me playing the game I loved. I don’t know how my life would’ve turned out If I was never introduced to CP football, but I can tell you from the bottom of my heart I am forever grateful it was there. Playing football gave me a reason to push myself, gave me belief that I could make an impact in this world and strive to become an elite athlete even with a disability. The best part of being a Pararoo is knowing that I am now that role model, inspiring young boys and girls around the country to strive for greatness, to show them there is a pathway for greatness regardless of ability.

 

Zac Jones

"It means pride in being able to represent my country."

Acquired Brian Injury in 2011.

After suffering a severe traumatic brain injury and stroke I was told that I would never walk or talk. In 2011, I was in a skateboarding accident and was not wearing a helmet. After this trauma, I decided to prove to everyone that through Zeal, Awe and Courage (which stands for ZAC, my name) I could do anything I put my mind to. These values are the foundation of my many successes since my accident.   Most recently, being selected as a Pararoo representing my country and wearing the green and gold. The ultimate dream!

Taylor Harvey, Young Pararoo

"Pararoos can do anything!"

Acquired Brain Injury 2005

My story is nothing special. Growing up in the town of Tintinara (population 200) I was the typical Aussie kid, loving sport and hanging out with friends. Being diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis changed my life dramatically. My body really struggled early on, and there were many days where I needed a wheelchair to rest my leg. As I grew older, my sporting motivation grew, which lead to me being continuously frustrated with the disability I had. It wasn’t until I was 17 that I was told that I was actually disabled.

When I was 16-17, I was struggling heavily with body issues. I hated the way I looked and refused to eat. Eventually, I was underweight for my body shape, and the only thing that made me happy was sport. I would train every single day, which combined with little food wasted my body a bit. I have always played a lot of sports, like Aussie rules, basketball, cricket, tennis and soccer. AFL was always the passion, I had represented league rep teams from a young age, but knew it would never go anywhere more than there. Then when I was told that I was disabled, the first sport I chose was soccer. I loved it, interacting with others that each struggled differently opened my eyes completely. It made my problems seem insignificant. I realised that though I might have it tough, there are always people who have it tougher. The family-like feel of the SA state team gave me the motivation of keeping my soccer dream going. My now close friend Ryan Kinner became my greatest motivation. We both pushed each other to get the best out of each other. Since then I have met so many great people and being selected for the U19 team showed me that it is possible to play sport at international level, with the greatest family I never thought I would have.

 

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