This week has seen the launch of the second year of the Disability Schools Football programme in Bristol, developed by Bristol Sport Foundation and Gloucestershire Football Association, and delivered by Bristol City Community Trust coaches.
Working at eight school sites across the city, year two of the programme will see over 100 young people aged 11 to 16 years gaining access to appropriate and differentiated levels of football participation and meaningful competition within the school day.
“The opportunities developed for disabled players during year one of delivery have been fantastic,” said Gloucestershire FA Disability Football Development Officer, Jason Lee.
“In addition to the schools’ programme, Bristol Sport Foundation have also developed three community access sessions, as well as supporting Charter Standard Community Clubs to offer disability football sessions.
“We are really excited to further develop the Disability Football Partnership in year two, with the support of Bristol Sport Foundation and Bristol City Community Trust, to continue offering accessible football sessions for disabled players in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.”
With all roads leading to Ashton Gate Stadium, each school will participate in 12 weeks of inclusive development from specialist coaches, before attending a regional festival on the hallowed BS3 turf.
Programme lead Kris Tavender says he is excited by the growth of the programme.
“It is really incredible to think how many schools and young people are involved this year, and how many smiles, goals and memories will be created,” he said.
“To be able to then take our activity onto the Ashton Gate pitch is a huge blessing also, and something we aim to recreate later in the summer at the GFA headquarters in Almondsbury.”
The programme in itself is only a small part of a wider disability football partnership, being developed over the course of three years by BSF and GFA, which also includes a number of disability football hubs across the city for both youth and adults.
- Under 16s - St Bedes School, Monday 6-7
- Adults (16+) - Brunel Academy, Thursday, 6-7 (run by Longwell Green FC)
- Under 16s - Horfield Leisure Centre, Friday 6-7
For more information on the programme or disability hubs, contact email@example.com