National soccer championships trip a great opportunity

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Matilda Mason is passionate about sharing her experiences with others in the community.
Camera IconMatilda Mason is passionate about sharing her experiences with others in the community. Credit: Justin Fris

Bunbury’s Matilda Mason will embark on the opportunity of a lifetime next week, when she heads to Sydney to participate at the 2019 Australian CP football national championships in Sydney.

Mason, who was invited to represent the ACT at the tournament, will then stick around for the Asia-Oceania regional female CP football training camp, where she will learn from some of the game’s best. However the passionate 27-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, has a bigger goal in mind.

“I have my three siblings and parents’ love and support, but growing up I really did go through this alone and it sucked,” she said.

“So that is why I want the community to start realising that with every condition, there is another side to it.

“And I want to use my abilities to negate my disabilities, which I call disadvantages. “So I would like to educate the community and older generations of people of what people with disabilities can and cannot do.

“Because there are many within the younger generation with disabilities who are willingly choosing to try these things (sport and recreation activities) but can get knocked back.

“So I feel there is a lot of education which needs to be put out there.”

Mason, who has worked closely with Pararoos representative Brad Scott in the lead up to the tournament, explained the importance of developing communication techniques with her teammates on the pitch, due to varying levels of CP within each player.

“Communication is hard,” she said. “But you also get to know each individual person. So then you can understand where they are and the level they are on.

“From there, you can simplify the way you communicate with certain people. Whether that be with simple words or instructions to go into a position.

“We have all of our teammates helping each other.

“People might think I look and sound mainstream, but I can tell when I am getting tired and my cerebral palsy is coming out to play.

“I know when other players get a bit confused or frazzled, so then me or another person can talk to them and calm them down at half time over our debrief.”

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