By ZAC MILBANK
SANFL has established an Inclusive Football Academy as it seeks to expand its program to a year-long offering for footballers with a disability.
Aimed at male footballers with a disability aged 16 years and above, the Academy – under the guidance of head coach Dave Couzner – will centre around the annual AFL National Inclusion Carnival.
While this year’s Carnival has been cancelled due to Covid-19, the SANFL Inclusive Football Academy will play an Exhibition Match on Sunday September 6.
Set to showcase SA’s best inclusive players, the match will be held after the Statewide Super League clash between Woodville-West Torrens and North Adelaide at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval.
SANFL Disability Programs Coordinator Nathan Pepper said the new Inclusive Football Academy had three chief areas of focus.
FOOTBALL – development of football skills, strength and conditioning, and teamwork in a high performance environment. Players in the Academy also have an opportunity to represent their State at the AFL National Inclusion Carnival.
WELL-BEING – improving players’ mental health, well-being and relationships. Growing leadership and communication skills, and reinforcing positive behaviour.
EDUCATION – building the capacity of players outside of football and working towards meaningful employment outcomes.
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