Kids with disabilities join fun at Terriers FC

A new soccer program will give children with disabilities the opportunity to learn and develop social and sporting skills.

The Terriers Football Club is an hour-long weekly program run by Early Childhood Play Centres (ECPC) in Albion Park Rail.

Registered occupational therapist Elyssa Dix created the program after working with children with autism and other physical disabilities for 10 years.

"Many of the kids have tried mainstream sports but have become overwhelmed or not had the skill level of other children and become frustrated," she said.

Terriers FC wants to bridge the gap between sporting abilities for children with and without disabilities.

"It's about building up their skills and confidence so they can go to a mainstream club," Ms Dix said.

Soccer was chosen as it could be easily adapted to different levels of skill and ability, she said. It was a popular sport with children at ECPC as it was both "enjoyable and easy".

The program has already had 15 children register between the ages of three and seven. All go to ECPC for occupational therapy.

Ms Dix said the children and their parents were excited about the program as the sessions could be tailored to the children's individual needs.

It is hoped the program will develop into a community between the children, their parents and the local area.

Terriers FC is named after their mascot, Buster, a Staffordshire bull terrier that does pet therapy. He appears on the team's jerseys, which were made possible by Steelforce Australia Ltd's sponsorship.

The program begins on Wednesday, February 5, and will run for eight weeks.

Call 1300 002 687 for details.

Team mascot Buster is on the ball. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Team mascot Buster is on the ball. Picture: GREG TOTMAN


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