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Football as Therapy for Kids with Autism

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Football as therapy for kids with Autism by Sporting Network for Autistic People and Parents (SNAPP) was created by Allison & Kris Gately when they saw the need for this program as their son Bruin was diagnosed with Autism.

The Early intervention for autistic children is very intense and we knew that sports covered so much of the therapies we were doing all in one activity.  As well as the added benefit of social play with kids his age.  We tried Miniroos, and he was just not capable of following the coach’s directions. Autism can be incredibly isolating as a parent and it broke our heart to watch our boy struggle, and then have to explain our differences to other parents on the sidelines.  We just wanted a place for our son to be with kids like him… and a place that parents like us could feel at ease and in no need for explanation. – Allison

Neuro diversity and Autism cover the broadest range of abilities and challenges. These struggles can include but not limited to anxiety-based, sensory based, auditory processing, non-verbal, verbal and physical. Whilst most of the kids in SNAPP are enrolled in Mainstream Primary Schools, this does not mean they feel comfortable in a mainstream football program or even an All Abilities football program. With this in mind, Kris and Allison created SNAPP.

Sporting Network for Autistic People and Parents (SNAPP) was created by Allison & Kris Gately when they saw the need for this program as their son Bruin was diagnosed with Autism.

The Early intervention for autistic children is very intense and we knew that sports covered so much of the therapies we were doing all in one activity.  As well as the added benefit of social play with kids his age.  We tried Miniroos, and he was just not capable of following the coach’s directions. Autism can be incredibly isolating as a parent and it broke our heart to watch our boy struggle, and then have to explain our differences to other parents on the sidelines.  We just wanted a place for our son to be with kids like him… and a place that parents like us could feel at ease and in no need for explanation. – Allison

Neuro diversity and Autism cover the broadest range of abilities and challenges. These struggles can include but not limited to anxiety-based, sensory based, auditory processing, non-verbal, verbal and physical. Whilst most of the kids in SNAPP are enrolled in Mainstream Primary Schools, this does not mean they feel comfortable in a mainstream football program or even an All Abilities football program. With this in mind, Kris and Allison created SNAPP.

This year, SNAPP will launch their 3rd program out in the west of Melbourne. The programs in Williamstown, Wyndham & Geelong are slightly different, catering to different needs. Once the football season ends, SNAPP continues with Cricket, Gymnastics and a swimming program with Life Saving Victoria.

Jason Charles, Executive Manager – Clubs & Community at Football Victoria, is pleased that “FV supports Kris and Allison with their SNAPP football programs and to see the positive impact they are having in their community through sport.”

For more information, please visit their website: www.snapp.org.au or follow them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SNAPPSports

If you’re interested to join or want to help out, please contact Allison Gately on 0400 810 088 or allison@snapp.org.au

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Football West to welcome Jamie Harnwell as new CEO

Football West has announced the appointment of Jamie Harnwell as the new Chief Executive Officer of the organisation.

Football West has announced the appointment of Jamie Harnwell as the new Chief Executive Officer of the organisation.

Harnwell will succeed outgoing CEO James Curtis, who is stepping down after spending almost six years in the role.

Harnwell has been involved with Football West for over 12 years, with his most recent position being Chief Football Officer. Prior to that, he had worked as Acting Chief Operating Officer and Head of Development.

Before joining Football West, Harnwell was the captain of A-Leagues club Perth Glory, as well as the record-appearance holder He made 256 appearances for the Glory men’s squad, where in the process he was involved in back-to-back national championships.

Football West Chairman Sherif Andrawes:

“Football West is delighted to announce Jamie Harnwell as our new CEO,” he said.

“Jamie is a real football person, from his days as a star player at Perth Glory to becoming a top coach in both the A-League Women’s and NPLWA – Men’s competitions. He has transferred the drive and dedication needed to succeed on the pitch to his roles at Football West.

“In addition, Jamie also possesses the necessary skills and vision to drive Football West forward as we continue to grow the sport in WA and we move towards the opening of the State Football Centre and the 2023 Women’s World Cup and beyond.

“Jamie has worked closely with James Curtis for a number of years, and in terms of senior management, it is great that he has been able to ‘learn on the job’ and is well placed to lead the team at Football West over what will be an exciting period for our sport in WA.

“Following an extensive nationwide search and the assessment of several excellent candidates, Jamie proved to be the stand-out. We look forward to him leading Football West in the years ahead and continuing the terrific progress achieved under James Curtis.”

Incoming Football West Chief Executive Officer Jamie Harnwell:

“It is exciting to become CEO of Football West and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he said.

“We are the biggest team sport in the country in terms of participation and we are in a fantastic position. But there is still plenty of potential for further growth, especially here in WA.

“It has been terrific to work with James Curtis and gain invaluable experience, now I am ready to put my own stamp on the position.”

Harnwell will work together with Curtis until the latter departs from Football West on March 31, 2022.

Sky Sports extends rights to NIFL

The Northern Ireland Football League has announced that Sky Sports will be the exclusive broadcaster of Football in the region once again.

The Northern Ireland Football League has announced that Sky Sports will once again be the exclusive broadcaster of top-flight football in the region for the next three years.

The Irish League has had a long-lasting partnership with Sky over the years and the agreement will see the relationship in place until the end of the 2024/25 season.

The new agreement will see four Danske Bank Premiership fixtures and the BetMcLean League Cup final broadcast live across the UK & Ireland each season.

Northern Ireland Football Chief Executive, Gerard Lawlor:

“We sincerely thank Sky Sports for their continued backing of our game and we look forward to showcasing some of the best NI Football League matches together over the next three seasons,” he said.

“To continue to have the invaluable support of such a high-profile broadcaster shows how far our league has progressed in recent years as we bring our game to an increasing audience of loyal fans.

“The NI Football League brand is continuing to grow outside of the confines of Northern Ireland, and through Sky Sports, many football fans are now becoming more familiar with the rich history of our clubs and as well as some of the household names that have played in the Irish League.”

Sky Sports Director of Football, Gary Hughes:

“As a long-term partner to the Northern Ireland Football League, we’re delighted to extend Sky Sports’ support of the league and ensure that its entertaining action continues to be available to our customers,” he said.

“Sky Sports customers will be able to enjoy the Northern Ireland Football league alongside our ever-expanding football offering in the UK & Ireland which includes over 500 live games in 2022, from the Premier League, EFL, Scottish Premiership and FA Women’s Super League as well as international action in the form of World Cup Qualifiers, and this month’s Africa Cup of Nations – placing Sky Sports as the home of live football.”

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