This morning I attended the Ringwood Spider’s first game for 2009 held at Jubilee Park in Ringwood. The Ringwood Spiders are a football team for people with disabilities and competes within a 14 team league through the Football Integration Development Association (FIDA).
The Ringwood Spiders have grown considerably over the past year with the team consisting of over twenty players and entering second division. Since only twelve players are allowed on the field one of the challenges the coach faces is ensuring that all players are able to participate.
The first game of the season also marked the debut of the Ringwood Spiders Cheer Squad, which provides an opportunity for people with a disability who are unable to play football to still be a part of the team. The Cheer Squad was organised by former Councillor Jo-anne Taylor, with myself and Cr. Natalie Thomas, who also attended this morning, also cheering the players on.
The colours of Ringwood Spiders are black and red and Essendon Football Club generously donated pom-poms for the Cheer Squad. The local Ringwood Redbacks also assist the Ringwood Spiders through donating clubrooms and facilities.
While the Ringwood Spiders narrowly lost their first game, they played exceptionally well against a strong team and came extremely close to a victory.
The Ringwood Spiders places a strong emphasis on establishing community connections and supporting social inclusion.
As a result, the Ringwood Spiders provides the opportunity for individuals and organisations to sponsor a player for $150 to assist in equipment purchases and become a part of the club.
Ringwood’s Lakeside Cafe is sponsoring the Junior Development Squad and I have renewed my sponsorship of Tom Raisebeck, who is now entering his second season with the Ringwood Spiders.
The Ringwood Spiders still have a few players without sponsorship and would welcome anyone who is interested in assisting the club.