Socceroo great Mark Bresciano is urging the Australian public to get behind the Pararoos and help them get to next year’s Paralympics in Rio.
Bresciano is an ambassador for the Pararoos and, like many, has been inspired by their story.
It’s been a tumultuous year for the Pararoos program, after the Australian Sports Commission cut their funding $175,000 in 2014.
But thanks to overwhelming public support and a partnership Football Federation Australia (FFA) has struck with the Australian Sports Foundation, the program is back up and running, with the side heading to the UK later this month to compete in the CPRISA World Championships.
“I have always believed that football is the one and only world game. It should be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of race, gender or physical ability,” Bresciano said.
“In Australia the Pararoos have been our national football team for athletes with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury or symptoms resulting from stroke.
“They are an impressive unit of inspiring athletes who are currently ranked 12th in the world.
“Without funding the Pararoos will be unable to continue their program towards the 2016 Paralympic games in Rio and will eventually be forced from the football field entirely.
“Without the Pararoos, Aussie footballers with a disability will be forced to give up the sport they love and give up their sporting dreams.
“I want the Pararoos to succeed. I want the Pararoos to be the future for all Aussie footballers with a disability.”
The side still needs help to help them get to Rio and tax deductible donations can be made to help the team achieve that goal.
“Everyone can donate to the Pararoos, businesses, sponsors, football fans and everyday Australians,” Bresciano said.
“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 the team get to Rio but it will also encourage many aspiring disabled footballers to strive for their dreams.”
Apparel company Nike has already agreed to donate the team’s playing kit (both home and away) for the upcoming World Championships.
You can visit pararoos.com.au to donate now.