Making soccer available for everyone

It’s important that everyone has a fair go and equal opportunity to take part in sport.

There have been plenty of advancements for people to participate in soccer, even with disability. It shows that despite these personal circumstances, it’s possible for people to still fulfil their dream.

We look at the ways people with disability can still enjoy what the sport of soccer has to offer.

Blind and vision impaired soccer:

Blind (B1) competition is one of two formats of the game that is an international sport at the Paralympics.

In a team, four outfield players must have blindfolds over their eyes so there’s no advantage for those with a little bit of vision, while the goalkeeper can be fully or partially sighted so that they can call out when teammates approach the goal.

The ball is specially made to rattle and create noise so that players know where the ball is.

The other format is vision impaired/partially sighted (B2/B3) competition can be played by those with limited vision and futsal rules are used with minor adjustments.

In 2018, the City of Melbourne announced a $1.5 million redevelopment of North Melbourne Recreation Reserve that creates a facility to hold B1 international level competitions.

All Abilities League:

Inclusion is the sole focus of the All Abilities League, aiming to accept people into the game regardless of their age, gender or ability. It places an emphasis on having fun rather than being too results-driven.

Football Victoria has announced their All Abilities League competition will run for a third year in a row and is played during May-September.

Powerchair football:

This modified version of soccer accommodates for those using the electric wheelchair. It’s normally played on a typical basketball court with four players on each side (including the goalkeeper).

For people who require the electric wheelchair for daily mobility from conditions such as quadriplegia, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, hand trauma, stroke, spinal cord injury and other disabilities.

Every state in Australia has a local powerchair football program, making it highly accessable for people with different skills and experience.


Part of the Paralympics for people with brain or other similar conditions – it’s been a recognised sport in Australia since 1998.

Games are similar to a normal 11-person match with walking and running involved, however this format reduces it to seven meaning the field dimensions are smaller.

Other key differences are no offsides and the ability to take throw-ins with just one hand.

7-a-side competition is suited for people with a neurological impairment, including hypertonia, spasticity, dystonia, rigidity, ataxia and athetosis.

Liam Watson is the Co-Founder & Publisher of Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Local Peoples the Official Support Partner of Capital Football Inclusion Program

Local Peoples

Capital Football has welcomed Local Peoples to the football sphere as an Official Support Partner of the Powerchair and the All-Abilities Programs.

By providing features such as economic, social and environmental added to bring value to organisation, brands and places, Local Peoples is a well thought out design studio utilising human-centred design based in Melbourne, also recently launching an office in Canberra.

Under this partnership with the governing body of football in the state, the Local Peoples logo will be visible on the jersey sleeves of the Capital Football Powerchair teams, and also on the front of the jersey for the All-Abilities squad.

The services that are provided by the company include but are not limited to supporting the projects in the public sector, helping their clients solve problems, content publishing and future learning.

Capital Football CEO Ivan Slavich said via press release:

“We are excited to welcome Local Peoples to the Capital Football family as our new Official Support Partner for our award-winning inclusion programs, we are extremely proud of our inclusion programs which provide fun and inclusive opportunities for players of all different backgrounds and abilities. The support of Local Peoples as a partner in this space will enable us to continue to deliver these programs to a high standard.”

Founder and Chief Impact Designer of Local Peoples Giuseppe Demaio added via press release:

“Local Peoples is thrilled to be able to support Capital Football’s inclusion programs through our role as Official Support Partner, being able to assist the all-inclusive programs at Capital Football is a real pleasure and we are certain that the participants that take part in both the Powerchair and All-Abilities offerings will have a huge amount of fun.”

This year the programs include the Canberra United All-Abilities Academy, a remodelled All-Abilities League and Powerchair, furthermore, Capital Football will collaborate with schools and local football clubs to deliver all-inclusive initiatives within the community.

Rotherham’s Changing Places facility at AESSEAL New York Stadium supports all

Rotherham United Changing Places Facility

Rotherham United is playing host to a Changing Place facility at their home venue of The AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Led by the club’s Community Sports Trust and Rotherham Council, which secured around $92,000 AUD from the Government’s Changing Places Fund, the facility is now able to provide a space with essential equipment. This includes a hoist, height-adjustable changing table, and a height-adjustable washbasin – for people living with learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and other conditions.

This implementation, located in the family-friendly West stand behind turnstiles 5-8, ensures inclusivity for all supporters and helps to make AESSEAL New York Stadium a safe and welcoming environment for all at their home ground. This not only lends itself to matchday for Rotherham United, but for various events year-round.

Kerry Coleman, Chair of the Rotherham United Disabled Supporters Association, expressed her delight at being able to put fan feedback into action, telling

“As disabled fans, we know sometimes going to games can have its challenges,” she said.

“Having received feedback from some supporters about the need for a Changing Places facility that provided additional support to people’s personal needs, we have been working hard alongside Rotherham United and RUCST to implement this.

“RUDSA have been working hard to raise money towards the new facilities, we have had donations from local people, fundraising from a committee member, organised raffles, and donations from a local charity plus much more.

“We are so pleased we are able to offer this facility to all those attending AEESEAL New York Stadium, be it on a match day or any other event.”

Jamie Noble, Head of Community, also voiced his excitement about the new facility, adding via press release:

“As a football club, we pride ourselves on supporting the community, not only to live better and healthier lives, but to help make AESSEAL New York Stadium a safe and inclusive environment for everyone to enjoy their football,” he said.

Following the award of just over $666,000 AUD in the first round of the Changing Places Fund, Rotherham Council is now ‘looking forward to opening more of these facilities across Rotherham’ in order to provide the space and privacy that members of the local community deserve.

Additional Changing Places facilities are planned at the following locations:

  • Clifton Park Museum
  • Gullivers Valley Theme Park and Resort
  • Rother Valley Country Park
  • Thrybergh Country Park
  • Wentworth Woodhouse
  • Magna Science Adventure Centre
  • Grimm and Co.

Most Popular Topics

Editor Picks

Send this to a friend