The Pararoos will focus on preparing for the 2022 IFCPF World Cup throughout 2021 after the globe’s governing body for CP football, the IFCPF, confirmed the cancellation of their 2021 schedule of events due to COVID-19.
The Pararoos, Australia’s national men’s football team for athletes with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury or symptoms acquired from stroke, held a training camp in Canberra last month as they worked towards the now cancelled 2021 IFCPF Nations Championships.
Despite the recent setback, Pararoos Head Coach Kai Lammert said his squad and staff are determined to continue their development throughout the year by undertaking a series of domestically based camps.
“We need to ensure that when it is safe for our team to return to competition at IFCPF tournaments internationally, we’re as prepared as possible,” Lammert said.
“Throughout 2021 our aim will be to assemble the players for at least three more training camps, providing them with the opportunity to build on the work that we did over three days in Canberra in February.
“In Canberra we exposed several uncapped players to the Pararoos’ environment, helping to develop depth in our player pool while re-establishing our team culture and standards.
“Working with Football Australia and our donors, our target is to provide several more opportunities for both our emerging and experienced Pararoos to gather this year as we collectively aim to progress CP football in Australia.”
While details of any additional training camps currently remain unconfirmed, Pararoos’ team management are working towards an extended mid-year year camp that may include friendly matches, prospectively against club sides.
In late November 2019, the Pararoos played their first international match on Australian soil since Sydney 2000 against Canada at Cromer Park on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
The fixture demonstrated the potential of CP football in Australia, drawing a crowd of over 1,100 fans as the Pararoos claimed a comprehensive 5-0 victory.
“While it’s unlikely we will be able to host an international CP match for the team this year, holding an extended training camp would provide us with the opportunity to host some fan engagement initiatives as we continue to work towards generating increased awareness of the Pararoos and CP football,” Lammert added.
Australia is currently ranked 10th in the world in CP football and second in the Asia-Oceania region.
*International Federation of Cerebral Palsy Football
Australians can help to support the Pararoos by making a tax-deductible donation to the team here. Every donation over $2 made to the squad is tax-deductible and will go directly to supporting national team training camps, coaching, sports science, and tournament costs to ensure that the Pararoos have the best possible chance to represent Australia on the world stage.