Coach Kelly talks about the Commbank Paramatildas
This week, Mandy chats with Kelly Stirton, coach of the CommBank Paramatildas, Australia’s first national football team for women and girls with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury and symptoms of stroke.
Competing this week in the IFCPF 2023 Asia-Oceania Championships at the Home of The Matildas in Melbourne, the Paramatildas are currently undefeated after four matches against Japan and Nepal. The team is also ranked #1 internationally and came second in the IFCPF World Cup in 2022, an incredible rise to the top since its founding in 2019.
Kelly chats about her background growing up playing football at a state level, the inspiration she found in her football-loving dad and the ongoing injuries that hampered her playing career. Coaching the Paramatildas helped her achieve her dream of being involved in football at an international level, while also supporting women and girls with CP and ABI to come together, play in a team and represent their country! Kelly talks through the process of player selections, classifications, the challenges and triumphs along the way, the trickiness of being away from her two children when coaching and travelling, and the absolute joy and honour of being the coach of an amazing team of athletes following their dreams.
Kelly encourages everyone to join the Paramatildas family, come along to support them at the Championships this week and reach out to Football Australia if you have a peashoot who might want to try out. Also, if you have the means, please consider making a donation or buying a fundraiser Paramatildas x Gym Face gym towel.
Thank you so much Kelly for chatting with us, we are honoured to be part of the Paramatildas family and we will be cheering them on forever!
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