RBFA striving for football for all
- 22 September 2021
The Royal Belgian Football Association joins Para Football as both an Affiliate FA and Role Model FA to support the growth of football for persons with disabilities at all levels of the game.
The Royal Belgian Football Association (RBFA) was founded in 1895 and is the National Governing Body of Belgian football. The RBFA promotes football for everyone, and they are committed to the equal treatment and meaningful involvement of each individual, fully appreciating differences. Come Together is the RBFA’s action plan that, as an umbrella, shapes the various inclusion projects which include: Belgian Red Courts, Nobody Offside - club football for people with disabilities (G-football) and Football For All - tackling discrimination in football.
Belgium was the winner of the first Cerebral Palsy Football (Football 7-a-side) tournament in the Paralympic Games in 1984,, beating Ireland to take home the gold medal. Today their national teams also include Blind, Deaf, Amputee and Intellectual Impairment.
Para Football is a new worldwide foundation working with national football associations/federations through its Affiliate FA programme to develop inclusive opportunities for persons with disabilities, and establish national Para Football programmes. Bringing together the International Federations governing the various types of football, Para Football aims to ensure ‘all’ are part of football and persons with disabilities are empowered to choose the way they wish to play and interact with the sport of football.
The Affiliate FA programme brings National Football Associations / Federations into the Para Football network where they can receive support and guidance from Para Football, but also collaborate with FAs from around the world and international federations of the different types of Para Football. Connecting the key actors in football and Para Football, the Affiliate FA network creates an environment where we are stronger together and have a team approach to growing an inclusive game.
Being awarded the Role Model FA status by Para Football, the RBFA will also be showcased for their long history, innovative programmes and ethos of inclusion. By highlighting successful governance models and good practice, Para Football aims to support nations around the world through sharing experience and assisting the development of national programmes which are sensitive to the situation in each country.
The Royal Belgian Football Association shared:
“As the national federation, we think it is very important that football can be played by everyone. That is why we join Para Football as a role model federation to support the growth of football for people with disabilities at all levels. Para Football is a new global foundation that works with national football associations/federations through its Affiliate FA programme to develop inclusive opportunities for people with disabilities."
Para Football co-founder, Sam Turner said:
“We are proud to be working with a National Football Association which is leading the way in the area of Social Responsibility and inclusion of players with disabilities. The RBFA have a wealth of experience, but also bring a collaborative learning mindset where they seek to positively engage with and support the Para Football network. We look forward to working together with the RBFA and supporting the great work they do.”
Working together, our two organisations will work to ensure that football is a place where everyone feels included, they matter and that they can access the game on an equal basis with others in football.
First Powerchair Football event
On 30 October, the first Powerchair Football event will be organised in the Auderghem sports hall. Powerchair football is a variant of football that was developed for people with a physical disability.
The event, organised together with Fédération Multisports Adaptés, Red Fox Foot-Fauteuil, Brussels Football, ACFF, and Voetbal Vlaanderen, will take place on 30 October in the sports hall of Auderghem.
During the event, visitors will be treated to three demo sessions on three different pitches, including a match between Belgium's two best teams: Les Mecs and Red Fox Foot-Fauteuil. In addition, visitors with a severe physical disability will be given the chance to try a Powerchair.
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