By Rachel Williams
It’s known as the World Game or the Beautiful Game and football has become even more inclusive and appealing with the introduction of Frame Football to the country.
The team at Dejay Medical have long been supporters of new and innovative ways to promote active inclusion by providing specialised wheelchairs and supports, handcrafted in New South Wales.
Now its kicking goals with the introduction of Frame Football, an adaptation of football (or soccer as it’s often referred to in Australia).
Dejay’s new Game frame Kick from Quest is designed to make kicking and ball control easier and enhances the experience of children and young adults who play the game.
Steve Andrew, from Dejay, describes Frame Football as the ideal reverse inclusion sport, similar to wheelchair rugby or basketball – everyone plays in a frame, meaning an even playing field for all involved.
Frame Football is classed as a development sport and falls under the banner of the IFCPF (International Federation of Cerebral Palsy Football) and CPISRA (Cerebral Palsy International Sport and Recreation Association), who are working with local sporting bodies to bring the program to life.
Chris Adams, the community football manager at the Northern Suburbs Football Association and Northern Tigers Football Club, has been involved in the launch and says it’s exciting to see the sport growing in popularity.
“We are passionate about ensuring that football really is for all, and always endeavour to provide inclusive football opportunities for young players,” he says.
“It has been wonderful to see the impact Frame Football has had on our team of committed footballers, who are now members of our club.
“Come and Try sessions are now being held regularly, with players working on their dribbling using a few different drills, moving around the pitch and listening for different instructions.
“It was fascinating to see some of the kids use their frames to their advantage. One participant, Oscar, was using the frame to shield the ball then dribbling at great speeds and changing direction very quickly. Oscar’s technique was off the charts. At one point, he rolled the ball backwards, back heeling it through his own frame and then turning 180-degrees so he could instantly dribble the other direction – it was unbelievable
to watch,” he says. “Seeing the parents’ smiles, whilst they cheered on their kids during the match was amazing to watch and something that everyone should be given the opportunity to experience.”
While the social and psychological benefits are clear to see, there are also significant physical benefits of playing the game, according to the experts at the NAPA Centre, a paediatric clinic specialising in physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
“It highlights how they can use their walker as a strength, not as something that separates them from their peers,” says NAPA physiotherapist, Joe O’Brien.
“As a physio, it is great to see how so many of the areas we often target and work on during therapy can be incorporated into a fun, functional and inclusive environment.”
The other BIG SPORTING EVENT heading to QLD
From beginners to the elite – frame runners from all around Australia are coming to compete.
While the Olympics are coming to Queensland in a decade, there is a sporting event of significance heading to the Sunshine State later this year that’s creating a big buzz.
The inaugural Australasian Frame Running Camp and Cup will be held from September 30 – October 2 at the University of Queensland Sports Athletics Centre.
The event includes a frame running competition from beginner level through to elite, as well as activities including gym work outs and high-performance coaching. Connie Hansen, the inventor of Frame Running, will be in attendance to present to therapists and families on ideal positioning and the benefits of frame running.
The team at Dejay Medical is gearing up for the event, which will involve competitors across a range of ages, including some young children who have aspirations of competing in the Paralympics on home soil in 2032. Dejay launched Frame Running in Australia in late 2018 and is working with a wide range of therapists and sporting bodies to grow the activity nationally.
One of Dejay’s clients is Isabella Auld, who recently took to the track at the Denmark Camp and Cup, as one of six Australians competing against runners from 16 other countries.
Bella, 20, who was only introduced to the sport last year after a history of swimming, dancing, bike riding and horse riding, was one of the rising stars in Copenhagen.
Gold Coast-based Bella competed in three events, coming away with a gold medal for the 40 metres and a silver medal in the 60 metres.
“She met so many other inspiring athletes and is already planning her trip back next year,” Bella’s mum Stacey says.
“It was the most amazing experience for her, especially being with so many other competitors from across the world.”
Bella trains twice a week on the track and one session in the gym and is actively promoting the sport with “Now I Can Run”, a frame running charitable organisation.
“I would encourage everyone to get out there and try frame running. It really is so much fun to get out on the track and participate. You don’t have to compete
if you don’t want to,” Bella says. “It is a great way to meet other people, exercise and socialise. I just feel fantastic and free out there running. Everyone is very supportive and it’s such an amazing community of runners.”
Unfortunately Bella is unable to attend the upcoming Australasian event, but she is already planning to attend the next one.
She suggests those wanting a frame runner should try before they buy.
“Get on the track and use them for a while. Everyone is different in what they like with their seats and chest plates for example, so all of this can be changed to suit your needs and likes,” she says.
Dejay Medical is offering to loan frame runners for the Cup and Camp in Queensland. Those needing a loan can email [email protected] to secure equipment.
For more details, visit dejay.com.au/australasian-camp-and-cup-2022