AIA Vitality has joined forces with Football Federation Australia launching the MiniRoos program, following the Socceroos most successful international achievement winning the Asian Cup on home soil.
The creation of the MiniRoos program follows a successful decade of football from the Socceroos and the Matildas. Not only will it assist in the growth of the game at grassroots level, it will promote healthy active living for kids aged between the ages of four and 11.
It was an enjoyable day for all involved, but most importantly for the children participating. The school kids got the opportunity to play alongside some of their heroes.
Our team at The Turf got the chance to show their skill out on the pitch in front of some big names.
Multiple MiniRoos football pitches set up, giving the kids a chance to play alongside their idols. Matilda Steph Catley, former Socceroo Brett Emerton and the hero for the Socceroos Tomi Juric were all in attendance.
AIA Australia Executive Officer Damien Mu’s long-term vision is to improve the lifestyles of children and educate them from a young age, whilst aiming to create a positive impact in the fight to prevent Chronic Disease and Obesity.
THE TURF spoke exclusively to Damien at the event:
“It’s been a real pleasure, we are very grateful to partner up with the FFA, what an exciting time it has been for football in Australia. For us, their commitment to growing the sport through grass-roots was what was really attractive for us. We want to get out there and support Australian communities and children in a fun and engaging way, developing some healthy habits, at the same time growing football”.
The recent success of the Socceroos and the Matilda’s is testament to the growing figures of Australian’s participating in the world game. Football has overtaken major sporting codes AFL, Cricket and Netball as the number one team sport with the highest participation rate of 1.97 million Australians.
We also got the chance to speak with Vitality MiniRoos Ambassador and former Socceroo Brett Emerton.
“It’s an opportunity to introduce young kids to a game I love and along the way they can learn some footballing skills, make new friends and just have fun.
“My goal has always been since retiring from playing football, is to give back to a game I enjoyed so much in any way possible. Being around the kids and watching them have fun is enough for me.
Emerton also spoke about how proud he was of the Socceroos achievements in this Asian Cup:
“I’m Very proud because I know how hard they have worked and what type of pressure they were under to be successful in this tournament. It was a tough 12 months for the national team. They have come through a big test very well, and I’m not only happy for the boys, but happy for everyone who put so much hard work in to make the Asian Cup a successful tournament.
Football is growing more and more each day. The statistics are evident that our future and vision is being guided by the right people.
Lets hope the MiniRoos program can produce some Socceroos of the future.
By Ari Charilaou