Rain unable to spoil inaugural Geelong All Abilities League’s Gala Day party at Drysdale SC
The show goes on
Not even the constant drizzle could dampen the season ending Geelong All Abilities Football League’s Gala Day last Saturday, which brought down the curtain to what has been described as one of the most significant achievements of the year on the local Geelong football scene.
Hosted by the Drysdale Soccer Club at its magnificent new Drysdale Sporting Precinct, the Gala Day was the crowning glory of the all-inclusive social competition’s inaugural season that brought together more than 40 registered participants from six different clubs.
Spread over two geographical zones or Hubs, the Northern Hub comprised of teams from Lara United, Geelong Rangers and Bell Park, while the Southern Hub was made up of Drysdale, Barwon and the Ocean Grove based Surfside Waves.
The GenU All Abilities Football League, as it was known after local organisation GenU sponsored the naming rights of the inaugural competition, catered for all footballers of all genders and age with an intellectual or physical disability.
It kicked off six weeks ago with six local clubs participating in a series of initial training sessions over three weeks, before participating in a three round competition season in their respective Hubs.
The two Hubs came together last Saturday morning with each club taking on each of the other clubs from the opposite Hub.
Following the completion of the round robin series of matches, a short presentation was held in the clubrooms with FFV Club Ambassador for Geelong Foddy Kyprian paying homage to the pioneering clubs who were involved in the debut season.
“It was been more than two years in the making but we finally managed to get it off the ground this year after all puzzle’s pieces fell into place. This year was a huge success and next year will become even bigger and better,” Kyprian said.
GenU Chief Executive Mike McKinstrey, who along with Kyprian instigated early talks of developing the concept of an All Abilities’ league in Geelong, reserved special praise for each of the individuals at the respective clubs responsible for getting their club’s All Abilities teams up and running.
He then presented a specially framed and autographed Melbourne City A-League top for a raffle, on behalf of MatchWorks which is a GenU subsidiary organisation.
Also present at the Gala Day were FFV Head of Community Projects Nick Hatzoglou and FFV Club Ambassador for the Geelong region Tonci Prusac as well as the main coordinators of the first season, GenU’s Glenn Snowden and Tim Downes from Leisure Networks.
A new concept for the Geelong region, the All Abilities League entered its first season with significant sponsorship backing from GenU, TAC, Vic Health and the logistical and organisational support of Leisure Networks and Football Federation Victoria.