Mason Silby has a bright future on the football field.
The nine year old, who has cerebral palsy causing low muscle tone and affecting his mobility, had always wanted to be in a football team.
With a Halberg Activity Fund grant he’s been able to attend regular football coaching at Papatoetoe United’s Adapted Football Programme.
Mason is a popular member of the club where he has been able to play against children with similar disabilities, develop his skills and make new friends.
Mason also attended the Saint Kentigern Halberg Junior Disability Sports Day where he connected with other physically disabled children from Auckland and competed in wheelchair basketball, football and sitting volleyball.
Mason’s mother, Talei Lawrence, says she has seen an improvement in her son’s motor skills since attending the coaching, such as being able to kick a football without delay – something he was initially unable to do. Most of all, Mason loves being part of a team and feeling included.
“He really enjoys it,” says Talei. “It enables him to be able to participate in a sport and play with other kids.”