Born and raised in Victoria, Ben Roche has been involved in the Pararoos since he was 11 years old and from early on, it was clear that this was a special union.
“Being born with Cerebral Palsy meant facing challenges from an early age. Constant physio and therapy to master the basics like lacing my shoes. But I was lucky to be surrounded by an amazing supportive family which allowed me to achieve what I set my mind to. I joined the Pararoos at 11 years old and all of a sudden, I was surrounded by legends that had faced similar challenges. Nurses, teachers, community workers - they all worked hard.”
Ben’s first international tournament was at the 2005 Cerebral Palsy World Games being held in Connecticut, USA. One of the early highlight of Ben’s football career came at the 2011 CPISRA 7-A-Side Football World Championships in the Netherlands when he walked away with 9 goals for the tournament, 4 goals against Spain in the opening game to defeat them for the first time.
“Having travelled the world now with the Pararoos I'm lucky to have a few goals under my belt, a few medals and loads of stories. I now dedicate my down time to working as an Ambassador for inclusion throughout Australia to ensure everyone gets a fair go.”
Ben is passionate about what it means to be a Pararoos and how important it is that this program for disability footballers continues.
“It is more than football. Being a Pararoo gives me an opportunity to support others with disabilities. It has taught me to be a father, a husband and role model. It creates extraordinary individuals and shows us that anything is possible.”
We need your help to support Ben and his Pararoos squad.
Everyone can donate to the Pararoos – businesses, sponsors, football fans and everyday Australians - every dollar raised through the Australian Sports Foundation will go directly to the Pararoos.
And every dollar over $2 donated is tax deductible.
Donating to the Pararoos will not only help get the team to the 2019 World Cup, but it will also encourage many more aspiring disabled footballers, just like Ben, to continue to strive for their dream.
Join the squad. Donate here.