Stoke on Trent College Ability Counts Team awarded funding to support disability football

September 2021

£1000 invested at Stoke on Trent College, improving disability provision for local players in Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire.

The Stoke on Trent Ability Counts team has been awarded a grant of £1000 from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation, to access training, coaching and equipment following the COVID 19 Pandemic.

Funded by The FA and Sport England (using National Lottery funding), this grant comes as part of the Return to Disability Football Fund, a fund launched recently to provide grants of up to £1,000 to support disabled people getting back to playing football following the pandemic.

Disabled people and individuals with long-term health conditions have been more adversely affected by Covid-19 than the wider population. This has directly impacted on disability football participation rates. The new Return to Disability Football Fundwas launched to help tackle this challenge.

This grant will enable the Ability Counts Team In the Foundation department, which supports players to participate in the  Ability Counts League, to gain confidence and new skills. This will provide much needed extra support for players of all abilities, giving an overall boost to the standard of grassroots football in Stoke On Trent following the pandemic.

Laura, Team organiser said: “With assistance from the Football Foundation grant we will be able to provide learners with opportunities to take part in Football training sessions and matches, and importantly be able to have fun with their friends again following the lockdown where they were unable to participate in organised sporting events. The foundation grant will be able to provide all players with equipment and have coaching sessions from Stoke City and Port Vale Football clubs.

The students have been so keen to get going with their training sessions again, through the funding they will be able to learn new skills to train others.

The learners within the Foundation department here at Stoke on Trent College are a dedicated, enthusiastic and wonderful group of learners who fully deserve the support of the FA”

Football Foundation CEO Robert Sullivan commented: “Understandably, we’ve seen a significant drop off in the number of disabled teams and people playing football during the pandemic. As we emerge into a new phase of living with Covid-19, this is a critical moment for football and promoting physical activity across the nation.

“We know disabled people are keen to get playing again, and it’s really important we help everyone return confidently to playing football. It’s one of the best sports for everyone to get involved in because it offers a range of benefits across physical health, mental wellbeing and social connections.  This is why grants for clubs such as Stoke on Trent College Ability Counts team  to support students are more vital now than ever.

“We’re delighted that our Partners, the Premier League, The FA, the Government and Sport England, along with the National Lottery, are investing in this fund to ensure football gets going again and grows within our communities.”

The Return to Disability Football Fund is the latest in a series of additional funding measures launched by The Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation to help grassroots football deal with the impacts of Covid-19.

In March this year, the Foundation launched the Return to Football Fund that provided £2.1m to support clubs return to football or activities aimed at bringing new players to the game. Clubs were also helped with the costs towards the essential equipment and facilities they needed to start playing again through the Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund and Small Grants Scheme.

For more information about all of the funding available to grassroots football clubs, visit the Football Foundation website.

Ability Counts Football forms part of the extensive Enrichment offer at Stoke on Trent College…

To arrange an interview or for more information contact Calvin Austin at Stoke On Trent College in 01782 208208.

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Published on
September 7, 2021 3:04 pm