Today at Wembley Stadium sees the official launch of Inclusive London, a unique partnership between WNST, the FA, Interactive and ‘London United’ – the organisation bringing together the community schemes of London’s professional football clubs. This morning, WNST Chief Executive, Stewart Goshawk, spoke live to Paul Ross on BBC Radio London about the scheme: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02b8bgl (skip to 14:10)
Inclusive United is part of the FA’s Disability Football Development Fund programme and will see the clubs deliver a host of new footballing opportunities for disabled Londoners both young people and adults. Projects, each lasting 20 weeks, will offer coaching to people with a visual impairment or cerebral palsy, those who have a learning disability, wheelchair users, those who are deaf or who have some other form of impairment. Quality control of the programme is provided by Interactive, London’s umbrella body for disability sport, who oversee the ‘Inclusive and Active’ quality mark.
The aim is that over the three years of the programme, more than 3,000 disabled Londoners will take up football for the first time. More than 1,000 have attended a project already. Importantly, the clubs will also be expected to help create around 60 new disability football teams across London, each registered with its county FA and rooted in its local community, to ensure that the opportunities to play continue long after the programme has finished.
To find out more about disability football in your area search the FA’s club finder at www.thefa.com/my-football/player/disability-football or contact the community scheme of your local professional club.
There’s also loads of information on disability sport at www.interactive.uk.net