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AFL disability people in wheelchair playing AFL

Getting to know the young people you coach

This is an important first step for any coach. It gives you the chance to find out whether anyone in your group experiences disability or developmental challenge, and what their strengths, abilities and needs are before you start coaching them. You can then start to create an inclusive environment that supports their participation.

To get started, we recommend reviewing your player registrations through PlayHQ. This allows you to learn more about anyone in your group who identifies as living with disability, and the type of disability they live with. You can then visit the Types of Disability section for tips to support your players and give them the best experience during your sessions.

If a young person in your group experiences disability or developmental challenge, you can share the ‘Supporting your child’s participation at footy’ form with their family. This gives them the opportunity to comment on how their child best learns and communicates, and any strategies that help their child feel included. If the family wants to, you could meet with them and their child before the first session. You could ask them questions like:

  • What activities does your child enjoy the most?
  • Are there any things they find particularly challenging?
  • Are there things I can do to support their participation?
  • Are there situations that they find stressful?
  • Are there things that I can do to help your child understand or learn a new skill?
  • What is the best way to communicate?

Keep in mind though that some families might not want to share that their child experiences disability, and this is their right.

AllPlay Footy is a joint initiative by Monash University and the AFL. AllPlay Footy was founded at Deakin University in 2015 and has been part of Monash Education since 2021. The AllPlay Footy content and resources presented here have been developed with people with lived experience of disability, consultants from National Sporting Organisations for People with Disability, psychologists and researchers, and are brought to you with funding from a Department of Social Services Information, Linkages and Capacity Building: Social and Community Participation Stream (2020-2024) grant. We aim to use language that is respectful to everyone.


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