Entire club gets behind the Sydney FC Foundation Match day

For the recent Saturday evening Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s game featuring Sydney FC vs Central Coast Mariners, the Match day was proudly supported by the Sydney FC Foundation.

Various initiatives were implemented to highlight individuals with disabilities, ensuring they had an exceptional experience throughout the entire event.

To be able to host the first powerchair exhibition at an A-League match was a sight to behold. The exhibition featured six of the Sydney FC Powerchair team putting on a display of excellent football, watched on by keen onlookers.

Sydney FC Powerchair Head Coach, Jason Ryan, said, “It was a great experience playing Powerchair Football out the front of Allianz Stadium on the Sydney FC Foundation Match Day. It was a great opportunity to showcase the sport in front of an intrigued audience. I hope it helps increase awareness for not only the sport of Powerchair Football, but also the great work the Sydney FC Foundation does with their Sydney FC Empowers Me programs.”

The Sydney FC Foundation were also delighted to be able to welcome an amazing family from the Starlight Foundation Memories program. Tommy and his family were able to experience the warm up from pitch side, whilst receiving some kind words from several of the Sydney FC team who came over to have a chat. The highlight of the night for Tommy was getting the opportunity to toss the coin out on the pitch, alongside his brother, Lachie, who presented the match ball to the referee pre-game. The family were then able to watch the match behind the coaches’ box, taking in the match in all its excitement.

Amanda, Tommy’s mother, said, “We cannot thank you, Sydney FC, and Starlight Moments, enough for the chance for Tommy to have an amazingly special night at the soccer with our family by his side, as we rush against time to create lifelong memories.

Tommy with his family before the game

“It was so special having the chance to watch his Sydney FC team train, to meet some of the players and to have the honour of doing the coin toss. His soccer crazy brother, Lachie, was just as excited having the chance to get involved by delivering the important match ball. Our boys were so excited throughout the experience, especially seeing their team win 2-0! 

“It was beautiful seeing both our boys smile so much, particularly given that our lives have been turned upside down since Tommy was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour; known as DIPG / DMG. Our previous cheeky, active little boy is now confined to a wheelchair, he has lost much of his movement on the left side of his body, his speech has been significantly impacted, and sadly, he doesn’t find happiness in doing the things he used to love,” she continued.

“At the soccer, we saw a side of Tommy we don’t often see, his love of soccer was reignited – he was so happy and I won’t forget the squeals of happiness every time the ball approached the goal! Tommy felt so special when the team captain come over to say hello and shake his hand, and being in the middle of the action to do the coin toss was a moment he will never forget. Thank you so much for helping to bring so much happiness to our boy during his time of need.”

Tommy did the coin toss for the match

It was a great privilege for two of the Sydney FC Powerchair players, Chris Suffield and Joshua Ryan, to be interviewed at half time of the match on field. This allowed both players to speak about how much powerchair football means to them, the benefits of being involved in the Sydney FC Foundation powerchair programs, alongside the positive impacts of playing in powerchair football.

Powerchair players were interviewed at half time

Post match, all the players got to go into the Sydney FC post-match function, which was something the players were extremely happy about. They were able to take in the behind the scenes, along with getting photos and signatures from the Sydney FC A-League Men’s team, whilst chatting with people from the wider Sydney FC community.

To donate to the Sydney FC Foundation programs and to show your support, please donate at Sydney FC Foundation Round Campaign | Australian Sports Foundation (asf.org.au) or to see the silent auction items, please see Event.Gives | Sydney FC Foundation Silent Auction | Items. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and allows Sydney FC Foundation to continue running all the fantastic programs, which allow more than 2500 participants every year to be positively impacted.