More than 250 athletes from various special needs organisations across NSW turned up to Kellyville for Football4all Gala Day on Sunday.
The new Socceroos mascot Maloo made an appearance posing for snaps and jumping castles, among other activities and competitors from various age groups took part in multiple small-sided games.
Hundreds lined up to take a snap shot with the coveted Asian Cup.
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.
Australian triathlete, rower and Football NSW ambassador John Maclean was at Bernie Mullane Sporting Complex as special guest on Sunday.
A promising rugby league player in his youth, he became a paraplegic after being knocked from his bicycle by a truck in 1988 and went 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.
“It’s a great initiative that Football NSW has shown and that was evident to the hundreds of smiles and happy faces that I’ve seen today participating in this fantastic event,’’ Maclean said.
Western Sydney Wanderers’ chairman Lyall Gorman, rising Wanderers young guns Daniel Alessi and Tom Manos were there, together with The Hills mayor Michelle Byrne, and there were player appearances from Sutherland Sharks duo Nathan Denham and Panny Nikas.
Kellyville SC Super Soccer, Kings Langley Open Goals Special Needs Program, NSW Powerchair Football Association and Snapp A Roos were among the clubs that took part.
NOVA Employment recruited volunteers on the day.