The Sydney FC Foundation’s annual impact report for 2022 has revealed a hugely successful year for the philanthropic heart of the Sky Blues, ahead of this Saturday’s Foundation sponsored double header at Allianz Stadium.
The Foundation’s mission ‘to positively impact the lives of youth and our Sky Blue Community now and into the future, one pass at a time’, was well and truly achieved with two disability sports initiatives.
Close to 100 families of participants with over 40 disabilities were positively impacted by the Foundation’s Community Powerchair Football Program and our International Day of Persons with Disability Celebration at Allianz Stadium in December.
The Powerchair Program hosted three clinics and introduced 25 players and their families to the sport of Powerchair. It was funded by the generosity of the donors and sponsors of the Sydney FC Foundation Dinner held in April 2022.
Sydney FC Stars Rhyan Grant, Jaiden Kucharski, Charlotte McLean and Alex Brosque all joined in and alongside Haley and Mitch McLean’s daughter Ruby.
“The Sydney FC Foundation Powerchair Clinic did not disappoint,” said Haley. “I’ve got so many thoughts and emotions that are impossible to articulate, the whole clinic has been so well done, Ruby has had an absolute ball.”
Mitch added: “To watch Ruby play and interact with others and not be seen as her disability, but instead as the ray of sunshine she is, is just beyond words.”
The International Day of Persons with Disability Celebration saw participants aged between six and 66, enjoy the full Sydney FC match day experience including Sky Blue kit, a locker room tour and an afternoon of fun on-field activities.
In partnership with Allianz Stadium and I’MPossible, the Foundation delivered football and fitness activity at the event for all.
Nathan Teong, father of participant George, aged 6 said: “It was just phenomenal. The opportunity to get out there and play on the new stadium was great.
“George loved every minute of it.”
As well as the two disability programs Sydney FC Foundation also launched the She Can Pilot Program, supported by Under Armour, which aims to break down barriers for teenage girls to play sport and keep them involved.
The Foundation’s Memorable Experiences Program in partnership with The Star aims to provide truly iconic and memorable experiences to Members, fans and community contributors of the Sky Blue Family.
All of the programs were delivered at the cost of $0 to the beneficiaries thanks to the generosity of the Foundation’s partners, fund raising at the Foundation Dinner and other initiatives including the Stadium For Ants campaign, a Golf Day, a match worn shirt auction and selling Sky Blue Santa hats.
Sydney FC Foundation Chair Jenny Abood said: “The Sydney FC Foundation has had a tremendous year of many firsts.
“I am deeply honoured to be the Chair of the Foundation and to be supported by a high calibre, passionate and diverse Board who want to serve our Sky Blue Community and help change lives, one pass at a time.
“We are so very excited to release our first impact report as a Foundation and showcase the impact we have been able to have, thanks to the support of many businesses and individuals highlighted in the report itself.
“The power of football to unite families, friends and communities is undeniable.
“Our Foundation is all about providing access to all, to improve their well-being and brighten their futures.”
In 2023 the Sydney FC Foundation plans to expand its disability sports provision in schools and the local community to positively impact the lives of more than 1500 young people by the end of 2024.
It will continue to support young females playing football at grassroots level by building on the success of the She Can pilot program in conjunction with the Women’s World Cup. The aim is to provide an elite youth pathway for females.
Finally the Foundation is excited to share ways Members, fans and businesses can entrench their name to support the Sky Blues new Centre of Excellence and community facility, Sky Park.