Thursday, October 21, 2010

UK county gets funding to offer PowerChair soccer to disabled people

From BBC News:

Disabled footballers across Essex are to benefit from a cash boost from the BBC Children in Need appeal.

The £60,000 grant will help the Essex County FA offer PowerChair football to people in Chelmsford.

"We see this provision as a route to engage PowerChair and manual wheelchair users in sporting activity," said John Manning from the Essex FA.

The three year funded programme launched earlier this month at Riverside Ice & Leisure in Chelmsford.

"Essex has engaged many youngsters in inclusive activities but we've reached a plateau and haven't necessarily helped to develop this skills base," said John.

"This is particularly highlighted for people using a wheelchair and one of the outcomes we hope to achieve is more individuals achieving their potential."

Currently there are 12 clubs and organisations within Essex who offer footballing opportunities to people with disabilities.

The project aims to work with between 80 and 100 people, offering a monthly four-hour session.

Initially, the sessions will include drills to develop familiarisation, skills and match situations.

They also plan to buy six PowerChairs and other start-up equipment.

Sam Bull, National Development Manager for the Wheelchair Football Association said: "This is a great start for PowerChair Football in Essex."