Australian triathlete, rower and Football NSW ambassador John Maclean will be at Kellyville on Sunday as a special guest of Football4all Gala Day.
A Football NSW initiative introduced in 2009, Football4all Gala Day gives people with a disability or special needs an avenue to enjoy a day of football with family and friends.
It will held at Bernie Mullane Sports Complex, Kellyville.
In Maclean’s case, a promising rugby league player in his youth, he became a paraplegic after being knocked from his bicycle by a truck in 1988.
The inspiring athlete has gone on to complete the Hawaii Ironman three times, was the first wheelchair athlete to swim the English Channel and he represented his country at the 2000 Olympic Games.
“Football NSW is delighted to have developed such an initiative [as Football4all] and we are committed to the ongoing growth and development of our established and new special needs football programs,’’ Football NSW chief executive Eddie Moore said.
‘‘Year upon year, Football4all continues to grow in numbers which typifies the important role it plays in our wonderful game in a fun-filled environment.”
Features of the day include a Powerchair Football display for the second year, giving new players a chance to take part.
Small-sided games have been organised for participants, along with football drills and games provide throughout the day.
Western Sydney Wanderers’ chairman Lyall Gorman, rising Wanderers young guns Daniel Alessi and Tom Manos will attend, together with The Hills mayor Michelle Byrne, and there will be player appearances from Sutherland Sharks duo Nathan Denham and Panny Nikas who will be signing autographs.
The official Socceroos mascot, Maloo, will also make his way down to Kellyville, as will the replica of the Asian Cup.
NOVA Employment has thrown its support behind the event for the third consecutive year by assisting with recruiting volunteers on the day.
NOVA operates a number of programs including the Disability Employment Service, a registered training organisation and Transition to Work (a NSW government initiative).
■ Sunday, May 25, 9.30am-2.30pm, Bernie Mullane Sports Complex, Marella Avenue, Kellyville.