Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria logo - Blind Football

Blind Football

Blind Football (B1) is an internationally recognised sport played at the Paralympics. It is played outdoors by athletes who are totally blind (B1) on a 40m x 20m pitch with side kickboards and an audible ball. There are two teams of five; four outfield players and a goalkeeper. The outfield players wear eye-shades to equal their sight and the goalkeeper can be fully or partially sighted.

 

Blind Football Team

The South Melbourne FC Blind Football Team trains on a regular basis to prepare players for National Team Training Camps and for the future introduction of a competitive league. The squad trains under a
qualified Blind Football coach on a fortnightly basis between April and September. All training is overseen by Australian Blind Football to ensure our players can reach the highest standard they can.

Whilst we actively support our players to reach the standard to join the national squad, we place a greater emphasis on welcoming new players to the sport. Not everyone wants to play competitively so we provide an environment for social football and those who want to learn the game.

We have a number of participants, including children, who are trying the sport for the first time or join us for some casual activities. To achieve this we run free come-and-try sessions at least monthly in Albert Park.

Blind Football Competition

Melbourne, Victoria

There is currently no opportunities for competitive Blind Football in Victoria. As the sport continues to grow and participation numbers increase the potential for competitive games may eventuate. South Melbourne FC runs regular Blind Football sessions to enable participants to try the sport first time and then to continue training and developing their skills if it interests them.

Australia

The team at Australian Blind Football are establishing a National Blind Football Series that would allow teams from various states to be able to play competitively. The first two teams in the National Blind Football Series are South Melbourne FC and Brisbane Olympics FC. Perth SC and Adelaide Comets are existing football clubs who have invested in the Australian Blind Football program and may join the league. The National Blind Football Series is scheduled to commence in May 2022 and matches are held during National Team Training Camps in Melbourne.

International

Australian Blind Football in conjunction with the Australian Paralympic Committee conducts multiple National Training Camps throughout the year. Based in Melbourne, these camps provide the opportunity for players to train at an advanced level and push for selection as part of the national squad.

The Australian National team has the opportunity to compete at the following events:

  • 2022 IBSA Blind Football Asian Championships
  • 2023 IBSA Blind Football World Championships
  • 2023 IBSA Partially Sighted Football World Championships
  • Paris 2024 Paralympic Games

 

Blind Football Team

The South Melbourne FC Blind Football Team trains on a regular basis to prepare players for National Training Camps and for the future introduction of a competitive league. The squad trains under a qualified Blind Football coach on a fortnightly basis between April and September. All training is overseen by Australian Blind Football to ensure our players can reach the highest standard they can.

Whilst we actively support our players to reach the standard to join the national squad, we place a greater emphasis on welcomeing new players to the sport. We have a number of kids and social players who are trying the sport for the first time or join us for some casual activities.

 

Amir Abdi – Blind Footballer for South Melbourne FC and the Australian National Team
Amir Abdi – Blind Footballer for South Melbourne FC and the Australian National Team

Blind Football Equipment

There is no special equipment required to participate in All Abilities Football. We train and play on a synthetic grass surface so there is no need to wear football boots. Participants only need to wear runners or sports shoes and wear clothing they are comfortable in to try a sport.

In competition, outfield players wear eye-shades to ensure equality across all players. Where required these will be provided by Australian Blind Football.

South Melbourne FC will provide registered players with a training jersey or a full playing kit depending on their level of participation.

 

Blind Football Costs to Play

Football Victoria

There is an annual player registration fee levied by Football Victoria. This player registration fee provides insurance cover for players. South Melbourne FC incorporates this fee as part of the players club registration fee, and makes the payment to Football Victoria on the players behalf.

South Melbourne FC

South Melbourne FC subsidises the playing costs for Blind Football players to reduce barriers to them participating in the sport. This fee for 2022 is of $50 and is payable at the time of registration through the Football Australia Play Football website. This may be claimable under the players NDIS plan.

 

Brendan Spencer – Blind Footballer for South Melbourne FC and the Australian National Team

How to get involved

We welcome all ages, all genders and all abilities to join us.

We encourage anyone interested in knowing more to come along to any of training sessions to understand what its all about. This is free and you are under no obligation to participate or join in. All of our players and volunteers are happy to have a chat and share their experiences.

You can read the latest articles of our All Abilities Program by visiting our Latest News page and visiting our All Abilities Program Overview page to understand what else South Melbourne FC has to offer.

You can keep up-to-date with the teams activities on their Facebook page and you can send us a message with any questions you may have.

Join us and get in touch…

You are welcome to simply show up or get in contact with us. We encourage you to talk to us first if you are interested just so we have you on our email list in there are last minute changes.

You can contact our All Abilities Football Coordinator Skip Fulton via email at all.abilities@smfc.com.au and he will reply or call you to discuss any queries you may have.

 

Key Dates

All training days are in Albert Park.

DateTimeActivityLocation
Sunday 24 April 202210:00am - 10:30pm
10:30am – 12:00pm
Meet and setup
Senior (age 15+) Training Session
Albert Park
Sunday 8 May 20229:30am - 10:30pm
10:30am – 12:00pm
Free Come and Try Session & Junior Training Session
Senior (age 15+) Training Session
Albert Park
Sunday 22 May 2022National Team Training Camp
National Blind Football Series
South Melbourne FC vs Olympic FC
Paralympic Training Centre, Tullamarine
Sunday 5 June 20229:30am - 10:30pm
10:30am – 12:00pm
Free Come and Try Session & Junior Training Session
Senior (age 15+) Training Session
Albert Park
Sunday 19 June 202210:00am - 10:30pm
10:30am – 12:00pm
Meet and setup
Senior (age 15+) Training Session
Albert Park
Sunday 3 July 20229:30am - 10:30pm
10:30am – 12:00pm
Free Come and Try Session & Junior Training Session
Senior (age 15+) Training Session
Albert Park
Sunday 17 July 20229:30am - 10:30pm
10:30am – 12:00pm
Free Come and Try Session & Junior Training Session
Senior (age 15+) Training Session
Albert Park
Sunday 24 July 2022National Team Training Camp
National Blind Football Series
South Melbourne FC vs Olympic FC
Paralympic Training Centre, Tullamarine
Sunday 7 August 20229:30am - 10:30pm
10:30am – 12:00pm
Free Come and Try Session & Junior Training Session
Senior (age 15+) Training Session
Albert Park
Sunday 21 August 202210:00am - 10:30pm
10:30am – 12:00pm
Meet and setup
Senior (age 15+) Training Session
Albert Park
Sunday 4 September 20229:30am - 10:30pm
10:30am – 12:00pm
Free Come and Try Session & Junior Training Session
Senior (age 15+) Training Session
Albert Park
Sunday 18 September 20229:30am - 10:30pm
10:30am – 12:00pm
Free Come and Try Session & Junior Training Session
Senior (age 15+) Training Session
Albert Park
Sunday 2 October 20229:30am - 10:30pm
10:30am – 12:00pm
Free Come and Try Session & Junior Training Session
Senior (age 15+) Training Session
Albert Park
Sunday 16 October 2022National Team Training CampParalympic Training Centre, Tullamarine

Location

Paul Wade Field 7/8 (Albert Park)

Paul Wade Field, known as synthetic field 7-8 is a multi lined and multi purpose full sized synthetic field used by various sports including soccer and touch football. The field is booked by the club with Parks Victoria for our sessions giving us exclusive use of the whole pitch, even if we only use a small portion of it. At all other times the field is available for public use.

The field is a dog off-leash area only when not being used for sporting activities or events. We have not experienced any issues with dogs or other animals interrupting our sessions.

There is no building or pavilion at this field. This means there is no changeroom or protection from adverse weather. There are male, female and disabled access public toilets which are open on weekends at the adjacent Cox McKenzie Pavilion which is approximately 200m walk from the field.

Parking:

Parking is available on Aughtie Drive which is adjacent to the field and a 50m walk. It is necessary to purchase a parking ticket as parking is strongly enforced. An all day parking ticket costs around $5.50. The club is investigating options for an annual car park for participants who plan to attend regularly.

Driving Directions:

You can search for Paul Wade Field St Kilda on either Google Maps or Apple Maps. Alternatively the nearest intersection is Aughtie Drive and Hockey Drive which is approximately 100m from the field.

Public Transport:

There is a tram stop located approximately 200m from the field. The stop is called 131-Fraser St/Light Rail (Middle Park). Participants who plan to arrive by public transport can coordinator in advance with the club and we will have a person meet you at the tram stop.

The tram line is number 96 from East Brunswick to St Kilda Beach. This tram line connects to Southern Cross Station.

Map: