Joshua Beekes to represent Victoria at National Paralympic Seven-a-side Football Championships.

Joshua Beekes will represent Victoria at the National Paralympic Seven-a-side Football Championships. Picture: KIERAN ILES
Joshua Beekes will represent Victoria at the National Paralympic Seven-a-side Football Championships. Picture: KIERAN ILES

NOTHING can get in the way of Joshua Beekes and his soccer dream.

The Strathfieldsaye teenager has won selection in the Victorian team for the National Paralympic Seven-a-side Football Championships.

Thirteen-year-old Joshua has mild left hemiplegia, or cerebral palsy.

The condition affects the muscles in his legs and arms.

But that has not stopped the good natured teenager from excelling on the soccer field as a member of the Victorian Paralympic Football Program.

Later this month he will travel with the Victorian team to New South Wales for the national championships, which will be staged at Valentine Park, Glenwood, from October 27-30.

Joshua, who has played soccer since his he was seven, said he was fortunate to have only a mild case of hemiplegia, despite it requiring routine attention.

He said the excitement of pulling on his state jersey was growing by the day.

"I'm very excited - I can't wait," Joshua said.

"It’s the first time (for Victoria), I've never gone anywhere else.

"I've played for school teams in volleyball, but nothing quite like this."

Joshua will have some handy teammates and line-up against some formidable opponents at the championships.

Joshua Beekes

Joshua Beekes

The teams will be filled with Australian Pararoos players, who have only recently returned from Denmark, where they qualified for next year's world championships in Argentina.

The paralympic football program exists for players with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury or stroke.

Joshua must travel to Darebin or Knox Football Centre each fortnight to train.

The Bendigo South East College year seven student said be able to do that involved a huge commitment from his parents.

"Mum and dad are every important - they drive me everywhere," he said.

"They spend all their time driving me and getting me there because we are in Melbourne every second week."

When he can, Joshua pulls on the boots for Colts United under-14s in the Bendigo Amateur Soccer League and this summer will turn his attention to futsal.

Joshua's Victorian team will play two games a day in the nationals against New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australian and a combined South Australia/Australian Capital Territory team.

The Victorians finished third at last year's championships, but the humble Strathfieldsaye youngster said winning was not that important.

"It would be lovely to win, but I'm just there for the experience," he said.

"It's very important that people have a go if there's something they want to have a go at.

"It doesn't matter if they are good at it or not."

Joshua and his teammates progress can be followed on the Victorian Paralympic Football Program Facebook page.