As we mark the end of the opening third of the 2023/24 season, Oxfordshire FA has been excited to see the encouraging growth of disability football across the county.
Since the season kicked off last August, the number of local disability sessions has grown, leading to a greater number of players having the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful game.
It’s a trend we’re keen to see continuing, as we support The FA’s Disability Training for Clubs programme, which aims to provide clubs with the knowledge and resources to open their doors to disabled players. Our affiliated clubs can click here to download the FA’s Disability Training Toolkit, packed with insight and tips.
We’re also delighted to confirm details of our in-person training event, which is being delivered in partnership with our colleagues at Berks & Bucks FA.
Taking place at Didcot Town FC (Loop Meadow Stadium, Bowmont Water, Ladygrove, Didcot, OX11 7GA) on Monday 4 March from 6pm-9.30pm, the session will bring the information within the Disability Training for Clubs Toolkit to life.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE EVENT
At the start of the season, Oxfordshire FA welcomed Adam Robinson on board as our Disability Football Ambassador. Adam’s understanding of disability football and connection to our clubs has been instrumental in the increase of opportunities presented to disabled players in Oxfordshire.
Together with Adam, we have been proud to support the Banbury Football Partnership’s launch of a new youth provision. The Partnership, made up of Adderbury Park FC, Banbury United, Easington Sports, and Longford Park FC, established sessions for 5-15-year-olds, with over 20 players attending the sessions since the first was hosted.
In addition, we have supported Oxford Blackbirds Football Club in the launch of a new session for 5–11-year-olds within the Blackbird Leys estate. Once again, these sessions have enjoyed early success, with over 20 participants involved regularly.
Bure Park Football Club enhanced their provision to disabled participants by hosting a session for adults, with six players taking part. These sessions are set to continue this month.
In addition, we have been pleased to assist Henley YMCA grow their disability session for youth players, with an average of 10 players taking part, while Witney Disability Partnership is set to launch their own sessions in the coming months.
To have seen such a growth in disability football over the past six months is pleasing – but our work isn’t over yet.
We’d love to hear from any of our clubs or local organisations keen on hosting disability football sessions, or any looking to grow their existing sessions, as we’d be keen to support.
For the projects above, our support ranged from bringing clubs together to collaborate and share resources, to helping projects secure funding and any additional tools required to deliver a safe and inclusive opportunity for players. We can also promote sessions to our grassroots football community, while looking for opportunities to connect with our key partners and FA Coach Mentors for coaching support.
Drop our Football Development Manager, Michael Thurlow, via Support@OxfordshireFA.com or give him a call on 01993 778586.