Earlier this year, Mike Onslow was appointed AFC Sudbury’s Head of Disability Football. Mike, a qualified coach with his own coaching business, has been in post for around six months already which he has spent learning about this specialist area of our sport and planning how we can introduce and offer it to our community.
Mike explains ‘Disability Football includes a range of different subsets designed to include as many people as possible in ways which enable safe and fair competition for players with comparable disabilities. Categories include Powerchair football, Blind and visually impaired football, Amputee football, Frame football and Deaf and hearing impairment football. Our strategy is to look at each of these sectors and find ways to embrace and participate in them as we develop.’
The very first Disability Football event at AFC Sudbury is planned to Friday 15th December. This will be a ‘Pan Disability’ induction and initiation session in which anyone with a disability, impairment or long-term health condition (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) is invited to attend. Unfortunately, we will be unable to accommodate blind and severely sight impaired players at this event as their version of the game involves specialist safety considerations that we cannot current provide for, but plan to do so in the future.
Mike continues “Over our planning period we have established some good relationships with a number of specialist schools and settings and will be inviting them to attend the first sessions. Whether we get two players or 20 remains to be seen, but this will be the first day of many to come.”
The club has launched a ‘Pass your boots’ appeal to encourage everyone in the community to donate all unwanted studded football boots to help enable these new players the opportunity to play inside our stadium on our 3G pitch. We want to collect 50 pairs of studded football boots of all sizes to help those children and adults who need the most help in our community to come along and enjoy all the health and wellbeing benefits that football brings. A collection bin will be located near the stadium turnstiles – and all dentations are much appreciated.
For more information about Disability Football at AFC Sudbury, contact Mike Onslow at firstname.lastname@example.org