Two state football teams from WA have headed to Adelaide this week to take part in the Special Olympics National Games.
Sixteen players, aged between 15 and 42, from the Special Olympics state teams are playing in the tournament against other states at Barratt Reserve in West Beach.
The Games also serve as the national championships, talent identification opportunity and qualification pathway for national teams – the players on tour are seeking selection for the men’s and potential mixed or women’s teams for next year’s Special Olympics World Games in UAE.
QLD 8 def WA 1 (C. Minutillo)
NSW 6 def WA 2 (C. Minutillo 2)
SA 2 def WA 1 (A Ferrone)
QLD 6 def WA 3 (C Minutillo 2, A Ferrone)
Football West Inclusive Participation Officer Gordon Duus and three other coaches are in Adelaide with the two teams – one seven-a-side and the other five-a-side.
Duus will also oversee the coaching, mentor the coaches and assist with training and player supervision while in South Australia.
He said: “This tour marks a new step for equal opportunities in football in WA with a record number of players and staff touring for football and the quest for gold medals and national selection.
“The journey these players have taken through local clubs to playing for their state is remarkable and with such a youthful squad whatever the outcome of the tour there is a bright future ahead for local players.”
Football West has been working with Special Olympics WA to provide a pathway for players with intellectual disabilities to represent their state and country.
The number of players with intellectual disabilities playing football has been increasing, related to the increase in the opportunities provided
The squad is in Adelaide from April 15-21.
Name, age, club suburb
Patrick Amato, 33, Fremantle City Football Club, Hamilton Hill
Michael Armstrong, 17, Caversham Athletic Football Club, Lockridge
Tarkin Barker, 15, Cockburn City Soccer Club, Bibra Lake
Christopher Cairns, 19, Western Knights Soccer Club, Nedlands
Emily Casella, 23, Tuart Hill Junior Soccer Club, Dianella
Alex Ferrone, 19, Tuart Hill Junior Soccer Club, Dianella
George Harwood, 19, Cockburn City Soccer Club, Baldivis
Calum Hills, 20, most recently Quinns FC, Butler
Joshua James, 14, Lynwood United FC, Canning Vale
Christopher Johnstone, 15, Lynwood United FC, Canning Vale
Brendon Jones 21, Cockburn City Soccer Club, Gosnells
Lynette Mins-Kinrade, 24, Cockburn City Soccer Club, Melville
Christopher Minutillo, 20, Cockburn City Soccer Club, Spearwood
Isaac Ponga, 16, most recently Quinns FC, Ridgewood
Darren Reilly, 42, Western Knights Soccer Club, Wembley
Caden Sharp, 17, Western Knights Soccer Club, Attadale
Head Coach 5-a-side Kym James
Assistant Coach 5-a-side Sonia Barker
Head Coach 7-a-side Sav Minutillo
Assistant Coach 7-a-side Gordon Duus