Opportunities for Footballers with a Disability

Exeter City Disability Football

Exeter City Disability Football - Credit: Archant

Opportunities for Footballers with a Disability

The development of opportunities for footballers with a disability has taken on renewed importance during the Covid crisis.

The Devon FA have nurtured a terrific Ability Counts programme, providing regular competitive football and guidance to ensure local clubs are able to deliver excellent training that is tailored to specific requirements.

It is that theme of inclusivity and accessibility that is so important to the Exeter City Community Trust, with options for new players to join the comprehensive scheme.

“We have an Ability Counts Men’s team as part of the Devon FA set-up and a number of other categories for footballers with a disability,” said Scott Walker from Exeter City Community Trust. There are disabled teams within the Trust, including wheelchair users, the Deaf Academy, Down’s Syndrome team and junior sides, It is a pan-disability provision that is accessible to people across the region.

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“We have so many enthusiastic members who just want to play football. We obviously follow all our guidelines to be Covid-safe and our players simply want to take part, enjoy football and spend time with friends. The pandemic has placed huge challenges on everybody and the impact on mental health has been very tough. It is, therefore, an important time for people connected to disability football.

“As a Trust, we have been very fortunate to the Cliff Hill Training Ground (the superb training facility for Exeter City) and we get together for training on a Sunday, when restrictions allow. Training is organised to meet all the Covid rules and a fantastic playing surface for everyone to enjoy.

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“We also have a Facebook page and there have been Zoom calls to ensure we stay in touch with players. For some people, that new technology can be quite daunting but this period will hopefully provide a new skill-set for the future.”

For anyone interested in the provision for disability football at Exeter City, please contact us on 01392 255611 or visit www.exetercct.org.

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