Westside Grovely FC: Home of the Brisbane Paralympic Football Program
The Brisbane Paralympic Football Program started in 2005 and is run under the umbrella of the Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association. Under the direction of Head Coach Jay Larkins, the Program now has more than 40 athletes, three assistant coaches, managers and a regularly attending physiotherapist.
A number of boys in the current state and national teams came through the program. But we are not just about advanced athletes. The program is fun and encourages family participation. Our aim is to get young people with a disability to stay active and healthy. For more information contact Jay Larkins at: firstname.lastname@example.orgExtract from Football Federation Australia:
Jay Larkins has never been backwards in coming forward. Jay calls it, the way he sees it and if you don’t like it then he’s not really worried. An attitude that gets people off side at times, but also an attitude that at times gets things done
Jay can be pushy and opinionated and some people don’t like his ‘way’. Saying that, it is his ‘way’ that has done so much for Paralympic Football in Queensland since 2005.
“The program has grown since then, nobody wanted to know about,” he said. “Now we have Brisbane Roar from the A League providing us with gear.”
Jay played for Brisbane Olympic in the 80’s in the Brisbane Premier League and got involved in Paralympic Football after his son, Jarrod, was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy as a child.
Jay spent a number of years as the Queensland Coach and now is one of the coaches involved with the Queensland Junior Development Program. This position involves dealing with athletes with a disability across many sports.
The Junior Development Program Football squad hosts 6 players that he hopes one day will play for the National Team. When asked about his coaching philosophy and what he thinks is important when dealing with his players he replied “I teach them motivation and self- belief”
Jay has had a lot of help over the years especially from Brisbane Roar, a number of sponsors like Keperra Meats and West Side Football Club. When asked how he managed to get sponsorship from Keperra Meats he simply replied “I asked them”.
Such is the confidence that he has in his players that 5 of them have played in the 11-a-side able bodied Brisbane Metro Division this year. Some good Paralympic players have come out of Brisbane over the years and Jay has had a good deal to do with that.