Welcome Benny Roche
Small Sided FA is very proud to announce Pararoo and Victorian legend Ben Roche as our official Ambassador.
Benny will be leading the way for Small Sided FA in Victoria as an inspiration and role model to increase awareness, inclusion, participation and pathways for players with physical, intellectual and mental disability.
Small Sided FA is committed to providing opportunity for all and uniting the all abilities space with gala days, networking workshops, programming and competition, and we’re delighted that Ben has joined us to help promote this.
Ben Roche has been involved in the Pararoos since he was 11 years old and from early on, it was clear that this was a special union.
“Being born with Cerebral Palsy meant facing challenges from an early age. Constant physio and therapy to master the basics like lacing my shoes. But I was lucky to be surrounded by an amazing supportive family which allowed me to achieve what I set my mind to. I joined the Pararoos at 11 years old and all of a sudden, I was surrounded by legends that had faced similar challenges. Nurses, teachers, community workers - they all worked hard.”
Ben’s first international tournament was at the 2005 Cerebral Palsy World Games being held in Connecticut, USA. One of the early highlight of Ben’s football career came at the 2011 CPISRA 7-A-Side Football World Championships in the Netherlands when he walked away with 9 goals for the tournament, 4 goals against Spain in the opening game to defeat them for the first time.
“Having travelled the world now with the Pararoos I'm lucky to have a few goals under my belt, a few medals and loads of stories. I now dedicate my down time to working as an Ambassador for inclusion throughout Australia to ensure everyone gets a fair go.”
Ben is passionate about what it means to be a Pararoos and how important it is that this program for disability footballers continues.
“It is more than football. Being a Pararoo gives me an opportunity to support others with disabilities. It has taught me to be a father, a husband and role model. It creates extraordinary individuals and shows us that anything is possible.”
If you didn’t know, local teams in Melbourne exist for players to aspire from All Abilities is a great opportunity for anyone with a disability of Cerebral Palsy, Acquired Brain Injury, or has had a Stroke. Pathways are also available for visually impaired, deaf, age care (50+) as well as intellectual disabilities.
Players work on fitness and Soccer skills in a fun team environment. The teams are always looking for more players who just want to come down for fun, fitness, or for ambitions to one day represent Australia
For more information on how to join a team, program or enter a pathway into elite pathways get in touch with Small Sided FA today