Goulburn Valley Stars football team shines brightly

By Laura Briggs

It was a love of football and a lack of opportunities for those with intellectual disabilities that led to the GV Stars forming.

Into their sixth year as a team in the Victorian Fida Football League, president James Goulding said the players were as energetic and passionate as ever.

‘‘It’s the highlight of their week — it’s all they talk about,’’ he said.

Mr Goulding said keeping that fire alive by helping out the club in various ways was a number of organisations and individuals from the Shepparton region.

‘‘We really run off the help we get through others,’’ he said.

With Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE recently getting on board and with an unexpected donation of $1000 that was kindly given by Bayer Crop Science Australia, Mr Goulding said things were looking good for the team.

‘‘This $1000 out of the blue is just magical,’’ he said.

‘‘That support has just put the icing on the cake — between what we’ve got from GOTAFE and Bayer we’ll be able to buy some clothes for the guys.’’

He said he planned to provide all GV Stars players with a hoodie and track pants.

But the support did not stop there — between Balfours Mooroopna kindly providing a bus for the team to travel to their away games, Mint Digital providing services to generously print magnetic draws for this season and a number of individuals who continue to volunteer their time to attend training sessions and games, Mr Goulding said it was all made possible by the kindness of those involved.

He said although it was often a lot of work for particular people, it was all worth it to see the joy of the players each time game day came around.

GV Stars player Brad McGillivary said since day one on the field he had discovered a passion for the sport.

‘‘I love it,’’ Mr McGillivary said.

‘‘My favourite part is playing in the midfield and helping out the guys.’’

Team coach Darren Cook, who has played a major role in the club, particularly in getting the team up and running in 2014, said while things were looking good for the club he hoped to make further inroads and attract more players.

Mr Cook also encouraged women to join the fun and add to the small number of those who were already a part of the team.

‘‘It’s all about participation,’’ Mr Cook said. ‘‘Girls, guys, they’re all welcome.’’

Mr Goulding said he hoped the momentum would continue to build and he ultimately wished to see an all-abilities netball club started to coincide with the GV Stars football team.