PUMPED: Blake Sindel will play football at Martens Oval today.
PUMPED: Blake Sindel will play football at Martens Oval today. Craig Warhurst

Blake's chance to shine

EVERY Saturday you will see young Blake Sindel at Martens Oval cheering on his three brothers as they play the world game.

The 10-year-old wants to join his brothers, but because of his disability he can't.

Sindel has a form of leukodystrophy which has affected his growth and movement and impacted his day-to-day life.

He can't play against able-bodied athletes in sport.

"It's a bit hard every Saturday, we come here (Martens Oval) to watch his brothers and he has to sit on the sidelines,” Blake's mother Margaret Pickett said.

"He asks when he's playing next.”

Now, through a new initiative from Football Bundaberg, kids like Blake get the chance to play.

The inaugural Bundaberg Disabled Football Game will be held today with two six-a-side teams taking to the field.

Sindel will be one of them and Pickett couldn't be happier to see him play.

"He knows he's playing so he's really excited,” she said.

"This is what he wants to do, he wants to play football and not do anything else.”

He's also decked out ready to play.

"He's got footy boots this week for the first time,” she said.

"He's never got to wear them before so he's excited.”

Pickett said these opportunities were vital for youngsters with a disability.

"It's all about social inclusion,” she said.

"He doesn't interact with other kids like 10-year-olds do.

"For this to come to his level is great.”

Organiser of the program is Ron Pedder.

"I've seen disabled kids come along to watch able-bodied play so I thought 'why couldn't we include them in the sport as well?'” he said.

"Today is to show what they can do and progress from there.”

The goal now is to one day implement a competition with involvement from the eight local clubs in the region.

"We'll be holding come-and-try most weeekends (after today) and we'll organise matches and training,” he said.

"Basically we want to get it to improve towards a league, but it won't be done straight away.”

The game starts at 11am at Field 4A with spectators welcome to attend.



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