For many years, disabled people have been spectators, as others have enjoyed the highs and lows of playing football. But in recent years variations of the sport have been devised to allow virtually any disabled person to play, and to enjoy the thrills of taking part, and winning. Disability football is now available in international tournaments and several of the international governing bodies now hold their own World Cup finals, as in the no disabled game. Recently The Kent FA in conjunction with Ashford Borough Council and the Kent Sports Development Unit invited students from Valence School to take part in a power chair football demonstration.
“Eight students from the school in Westerham demonstrated power chair football to spectators at the Annual Mobility Show, held at the Julie Rose stadium in Ashford on Saturday 21st August. The players showed great ball control as they dribbled around cones, played keep ball and finished with a 4 v 4 game.” Although there are not any many disabled clubs in the area (unless you include Gillingham Fc!) I think this event clearly showed the county’s intent to make football open to everyone. I inquired at my Club Maidstone United and they had didn’t have a disabled team nor could tell me where the nearest one was. I searched a variety of places on the Internet and couldn’t find the nearest disabled sports club nor find out how many leagues there are nationally the subject simply is not well documented.
Additional Agencies and Funders of Football
The National Lottery provides most of the funding for the youth scheme development in football. Agencies such as sport as England are set up by the lottery to help improve the conditions of community facilities. The Football Foundation is the UK’s largest sports charity and was launched in 2000 to deliver a ï¿½53 million investment programme into grass roots football. This initiative represents a unique partnership of the FA Premier League, the Football Association, the Government and Sport England. “The Foundation will implement a single strategy to deliver substantial investment in local leagues, at schools and in parks, and to promote social welfare and education among players both male and female of all ages and abilities.” The FA also supplies football with a lot of money through the extravagant TV Deals.
While doing research for this project I found out about Narco. They provide opportunities for young people living in disadvantaged areas to get involved in recreational activities. Their projects recruit and train adult volunteers from the local community (over half of whom are unemployed or unwaged) to take a leading role in organising and running activities. This community-led provision has been shown to be an effective way of addressing disaffection and empowering young people, increasing the skills and confidence of adult volunteers, and strengthening good community relations.
Provision for football in my area is excellent (especially being in a rather rugby dominated society) this is due to the fact that so much money can be made out of the football industry. It is also good thanks to the agencies mentioned above and the fact that it’s the most popular sport in Britain. Provision in schools is also excellent due to being cost effective and simple. Grassroots football of course is well funded due to the fact that simply it will be producing England’s future stars. Woman’s and Disabled football however is still very much a minority but is continually getting better. In conclusion football is a strong as ever with it’s highest ever number of participants ever combine this with the superb funding and I’ll think you’ll agree that local and national provision of football is forever growing and getting better.