For some people Australian Rules Football is just a game, for others it’s much more than that.
On Friday 19 April, 50 players from the Perth Football League Integrated Competition were given the opportunity to play on Optus Stadium.
For one player this game would see him travel 1259kms to the big city.
Cooper Humphries lives in Wickham and usually plays football for the Wickham Wolves. The Pilbara doesn’t have a dedicated Integrated Competition and therefore the team Cooper plays for has taken him in as one of their own.
His father Shane Humphries said, “Cooper doesn’t run too much on the field and holds back a little, but every now and then he gets a little confident burst and off he goes”.
“The team of lads that Cooper plays with have taken him on as one of their boys, the comradery amongst this team is honestly a pleasure to see. The boys on both his team and sometimes the opposition talk amongst them self to organise Cooper to get the ball so he can get a kick” said Shane.
When WA Football Commission Pilbara regional manager Vicki Agnew heard about the match at Optus Stadium she knew it was an opportunity too good for Cooper to miss.
Within a couple of days, the trip was organised for Cooper to be part of the day.
After an airport evacuation, Cooper arrived at Optus Stadium straight from the airport and just fifteen minutes before the bounce. For the first time he could participate in a match with other players with intellectual disabilities.
The feedback from Cooper’s parents after was that he couldn’t stop talking about the experience and that he still has a smile from ear to ear.
See Cooper’s Optus Stadium experience below: