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Don't tell me it's too hard

August 9, 2012


Don't tell me it's too hard
This is a story about team building. Regular followers will know that Food Strategy staff like to pop up in photos wearing their company jacket. Chris recently had the opportunity to chase Brisbane Roar Football Mascot "Roary The Lion" during a game at Suncorp Stadium Brisbane for a quick pic. The photo was posted on Facebook which lead to a discussion with friend, Chef Jerome Dalton, who personally knows 'Roary The Lion'. One discussion led to another through Facebook and Chris got to meet Roary The Lion and understand his other world.

Roary The Lion's character is synonymous with strength and determination in football circles especially at the Football club of Hyundai A League team Brisbane Roar. Kids flock to him. Parents giggle and shake hands with him. What really beats in that courageous lion's heart is a passion for achievement. 

Roary has another story (yes it rhymes). He spends his weekends working with kids who run a different race, alongside his very close friend and manager - Jay Larkins at the Brisbane Paralympic Football Program.  Jay's name could easily be changed to Jay "Larikin" to aptly describe the persona he takes on when he's rolling on the park with his young team of athletes.  Jay is the program co-ordinator for the Brisbane Paralympic Football Program. He began this program with his son Jarrod who defied the restrictions of cerebral palsy to become an accomplished athlete through football. With a band of loyal supporters, they fuel the determination of children with disabilities to kick a football, walk, run, crawl and chase a dream. Jay has seen his junior charges play in Paralympic teams at an international level. 

Last week Chris arranged for her son's under 15 BJL North Star football team to spend a day with Jay and his Paralympic squad. The BPFP has acquired an inflatable football field called "The Field of Dreams". This enables a football game to continue uninterrupted by keeping the ball in play within a soft and safe perimeter.
The focus was team building, character building and fitness. The able bodied North Star boys thought they could help Jay's Paralymic squad with their training session. How wrong they were. The BPFP (Brisbane Paralympic Football Program) team did the teaching. The North Star team took away lessons they will hold in their hearts for life. Don't be mislead, the BPFP players are athletes in every sense. They pushed the North Star team to their limits of fitness, commitment and team spirit.  It worked. North Star won their next match against a close rival 4 to 1 and now lead the compeition table. That game was won because of you - Brisbane Paralympic Football Program.

It's tradition. At the end of every BPFP training session, all players line up shoulder to shoulder and run across the field towards cheering family and friends. It's not a race, it's a winning achievement to cross the line.
Watch this uplifting video of Jay challenging his squad to achieve and believe. There is a slogan on the back of Jay's orange jersey that carries another powerful message...see if you can spot it in the video Click here

How can your team reach out?
Don't tell me it's too hard.

The Queensland Christian Soccer Association donated the inflatable Field Of Dreams to be used at the BPFP. Since receiving this equipment, Jay and the BPFP have been inundated with requests to visit Special Schools & suburban Football clubs. It's purpose is to take their "Team for Football Clinics" to teach young athletes about team building, promote the BPFP and of course have FUN!  Many of the sports fields don't have electrical power available to inflate the field. 
Jay, Roary The Lion and the athletes at BPFP are looking for a sponsor to assist in buying a generator to inflate the field.  They have been offered a magnificent generator for a generously reduced price of $800.00.  This will enable the inflatable "Field of Dreams" to be taken to all sports clubs in the community. A donation or sponsorship of the generator will enable this program to be fully mobile.

Please contact Chris at Food Strategy 07 3354 2055 or Jay Larkins cpfootballbrisbane@hotmail.com to offer your assistance. 

If you have an opportunity to be involved at any level or have a responsible team that could benfit by joining a training session with Brisbane Paralympic Football Program, please contact Jay Larkins:   cpfootballbrisbane@hotmail.com
Please 'like' their Facebook page and tell Jay what you think.
Training is every Sunday (weather permitting) at Westside Football Club, Hanran Street,Grovely, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 4054

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 they are not just about advanced athletes. The program is fun and encourages family participation. Their aim is to get young people with a disability to stay active and healthy. 


Brisbane Paralympic Football






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