Australia’s Paralympic football team has received a major boost on their road to qualifying for the 2019 International Federation for Cerebral Palsy Football (IFCPF) World Cup with Zest Care signing up as an inaugural official partner.
Zest Care, a Government approved in-home child care and disability support provider, has aligned itself with the Pararoos and will look to provide funding and backing in order to secure the team’s future until 2019.
"This commitment by Zest Care is great news for the Pararoos as it provides stability and assurance for the team and allows it to focus on representing Australia proudly on the international stage," Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop said.
"The Pararoos are a fantastic example of football’s inclusiveness and how it is a sport for everyone.
"Like all of our national teams, the Pararoos wear their hearts on their sleeves every time they take the field whether it’s in training or matches, so we look forward to following their progress towards the 2019 World Cup."
Zest Care general manager Jeremy Dykes emphasised the organisation’s excitement about partnering with the Pararoos.
"We see a great synergy between Zest Care and the values the Pararoos represent," he said.
"Since 2001, we have been helping individuals and families overcome challenges and achieve their goals - we are both excited and proud to support the Pararoos’ journey to the World Cup in 2019."
The announcement coincided with the Pararoos holding a three-day training camp at ABD Stadium in the Victorian suburb of Broadmeado.
The camp included an open training session, giving the public an opportunity to turn up and show their support.
There was also a host of community engagement initiatives, provided with the assistance of Football Federation Victoria, in an attempt to continue raising awareness of the Pararoos programme.
Pararoos head coach Kai Lammert expressed his gratitude to Zest Care for their commitment with September's IFCPF World Championships in Argentinean city San Luis also in mind.
"We are really excited to have Zest Care as our inaugural sponsor," he said.
"This sponsorship allows us to have more training camps in the lead up to the World Championships.
"We hope this is the start of a long and successful partnership as we look towards the 2019 World Cup."
Pararoos captain David Barber echoed Lammert’s sentiments.
"Having Zest Care as the inaugural sponsor of the Pararoos means so much and is an incredible boost for our team and programme," he said.
"The Pararoos have for a long time worked in and around the community engaging young people with disabilities all over the country, helping them on their development journey and giving them something to aspire to as they chase their dreams.
"With the support of Zest Care, our team can really focus hard on preparing and performing at our very best, to lift the Pararoos into international contention for many years to come."