Shrewsbury Town’s disability football work “Shrewsability” is delivering fantastic opportunities for local young people in Shropshire to get involved in the beautiful game. Shrewsbury is one of the 25 club community organisations being funded for this work up and down the country, as part of the Every Player Counts programme, grant-funded by WNST and managed by the EFL Trust.
On a recent visit, WNST CEO Stewart Goshawk and EFL Trust Programme Manage, Colin Bennett, saw the work at first hand, accompanied by Town’s Community Manager, Jamie Edwards and Disability Sports Officer, Nigel Wellings.
One project is based at the Severndale Specialist Academy, where the community trust has built up a very strong partnership. This session caters mostly for disabled primary school age children, who just love playing football and making friends. On the evening of our visit, they were holding their own World Cup tournament, complete with England football songs playing in the background, England balloons and even cakes iced with the St George’s flag, made by one of the session volunteers!
The hot weather didn’t put the children off a fun evening of football. But the real highlight was a visit from Shrewsbury Town mascot, Lennie the Lion, who posed for a “team photo” with the children.
Another project, based at the Shrewsbury Sports Village, is working intensively with an older group of young people, who have a range of disabilities, including amputees, wheelchair users and those with Down’s syndrome, tailoring the coaching session to their individual needs. Running the coaching sessions in a mainstream setting also ensures that these young disabled people have access to the same high quality facilities as other local sportsmen and sportswomen.
This overall approach is having a huge impact on participants’ quality of life far wider than just football. As one mum told us, “Through participating in the disability football sessions, my son’s confidence and ability in controlling his powerchair has improved massively in everyday situations, which makes life much easier both round the house or when we’re out and about. And of course, he loves scoring goals!”
To find out more about Shrewsbury Town’s community work visit: www.shrewsburytowninthecommunity.com
More information about the clubs being funded on the Every Player Counts programme can be found here: https://wnst.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/England-Grants.pdf