Football Australia is pleased to announce the eagerly anticipated return of the National Para Football Championships to the Australian football calendar following a COVID-19 pandemic-enforced three-year hiatus.
The premiere tournament for footballers with cerebral palsy acquired brain injury or symptoms of stroke, the 2022 edition of the championship will commence tomorrow at Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast with eight teams battling for the national title over five days (24 – 28 September 2022).
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Running since 2004 and held outside of New South Wales for the first time, more than 100 footballers will take part in 20 matches with a historic first all-female team from Capital Football featuring this year.
Following the return of international CP football in May, the 2022 tournament will take on greater prominence as a talent identification tool and a key pathway to the CommBank Pararoos and the newly formed CommBank ParaMatildas.
Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson, said: “In 2022 we have made significant strides to ensure that all participants have access to the game and to create opportunities that break down barriers around all-abilities participation.”
“We are delighted to welcome back the National Para Football Championships which plays a critical role in our para football pathway. With so many of our CommBank Pararoos participating in previous tournaments, we are thrilled that in 2022 both talented male and female CP footballers can not only proudly represent their states, but now have the occasion to earn the chance to represent Australia.”
For CommBank ParaMatildas and Capital Football head coach Kelly Stirton, the importance of the National Para Football Championships cannot be understated.
“The continued growth of this tournament demonstrates the incredible power of opportunity and visibility,” said Stirton. “While there will be a number of CommBank Pararoos and CommBank ParaMatildas taking part, the national team coaches of both sides are eager to see the emerging next generation of players who have been inspired by the exploits of both teams at the recent IFCPF World Cups.”
The 2022 National Para Football Championships, which will also include the Annual Para Football Awards Dinner on 25 September, will bookmark the month-long festival of football. The festival of football commenced on 5 September with the launch of the 3rd annual Undefeated Challenge – which starts officially on Monday, 3 October with the aim of raising philanthropic funds to support Para Football.
All the latest updates from the Championships will be available here with daily wraps of the match action. The 2022 champions will be crowned this Tuesday with the Finals Day streamed live on Football Australia’s My Football YouTube.
ABOUT CP FOOTBALL
- CP football is a 7-a-side version specifically designed for players with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders including acquired brain injury and symptoms of stroke.
- It is played on a slightly smaller pitch, similar in size to a hockey pitch, and has smaller-sized goals. It can be played on synthetic or grass, but most international tournaments are held on synthetic pitches.
- CP football has no offside and players can either roll or throw the ball in from the sideline.
- Players are classified into three categories: FT1 (significant impairment); FT2 (medium impairment); FT3 (mild impairment). There are several rules governing how many types of players can take to the pitch at any one time.