Football Queensland supports the Brisbane Paralympic Football Program (BPFP) as the state’s endorsed Inclusive Football Provider.
The Brisbane Paralympic Football Program, or BPFP as it’s known, has been operating for over 12 years. The BPFP was established by Director Jay Larkins and two others as a way for children of all abilities who love being active to play football. While this may not seem such a challenge now, the BPFP was one of the first to encourage all children and their siblings to have the opportunity to be part of a club, a team and to train with experienced coaches.
BPFP training is designed so senior players can be involved in the juniors’ development and progress. Currently the BPFP has athletes between the ages of two and 50, with players supporting each other on and off the field. BBQs are regularly held after training sessions to encourage athletes to mix as a group and to allow parents to get to know each other and share information.
The Brisbane Paralympic Football Program has grown from strength to strength and sees a large amount of people participating every week and it is exciting to see so many people engaged in the BPFP for fun, fitness, friendship and team spirit.
The BPFP is run and managed solely by a team of dedicated volunteers, without whom this program would not exist. These enthusiastic volunteers have professional experience working with people with disabilities, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, sports psychologists and teachers who can provide as much or as little support as needed, meaning your children are in very safe hands.
On top of regular training sessions and matches, Jay and other coaches are often called on to run outreach sessions and present information about the BPFP to schools, football clubs and businesses. As an endorsed provider, BPFP players are eligible to be insured under Football Federation Australia’s National Insurance Programme.
The team competes at the National Paralympic 7-A-Side Football Championships against opposition states. Five members from the 2015 squad – Jarrod Larkins-Law, Angus MacGregor, Robbie Christie, Jamie Paulsen and Jared Eiby – have appeared for the Pararoos, the Australian national team.
Representing Queensland in the State Paralympic Football Team puts players in the frame for a call-up to the Pararoos, who compete in the Cerebral Palsy Football World Championships as a Paralympic Games qualifier.
Images: Brisbane Paralympic Football Program