INSPIRED by his son’s love of footy, Bicton father Matt Marinovich is launching the first south-of-the-river all-abilities Aussie Rules program.
Founded and launched by the Coolbinia Bombers Junior Football Club in 2015, Starkick caters for children aged 5 to 12 living with either physical or intellectual disabilities.
After one session, five-year-old Joe Marinovich, who has cerebral palsy, was hooked – prompting Mr Marinovich to start his own Starkick a little closer to home.
“Joe is still pretty young and so I was tossing up whether it was too soon, but he’s so keen I decided to go for it,” Mr Marinovich said.
“I have to admit part of my motivation was selfish because I didn’t want to be driving up to Coolbinia every week.
“That said, I’m sure there are other parents down here in the same boat who want to get their kids into sport but felt uncomfortable or didn’t quite know how to go about it.”
Mr Marinovich has partnered with East Fremantle Football Club, where he played as a junior, and already has 15 kids signed up for the weekly Sunday sessions, which begin on May 7.
“The program is all about inclusiveness and making sure the kids feel comfortable,” he said.
“The vast majority will be kids living with disabilities but I’ve also had a call from a parent who said her son tried Auskick and didn’t feel comfortable in that environment so he’s going to try Starkick instead.”
Mr Marinovich will coach the sessions himself and said the program was just as focused on parents.
“As the parent of a child with a disability, usually when you go to these sorts of programs or even just the playground you always have to be there with your child helping them,” he said.
The 14-week Starkick program runs 8.30am to 10am at East Fremantle Oval and costs $170.
Visit www.eastfreopower.|com.au/starkick or contact Mr Marinovich at mattybosco@|hotmail.com or 0488 141 097.