The Football Association has today released an inspiring new film to celebrate disability football ahead of the 2019 FA Disability Cup, which will take place at St. George’s Park on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 June.
The film shines a spotlight on five grassroots disability footballers telling the story of their own individual journey into the game, from those seeking a competitive environment in which to play the game to others simply finding fun, sociable ways of keeping active.
Their stories are being shared to encourage anybody with a disability to give football a try, whether they are an elite sportsperson looking to compete in the structured game or a complete newcomer exploring new ways to be active. It is part of The FA’s continued drive to improve equality, diversity and inclusion across English football at all levels through its In Pursuit of Progress plan.
The featured players include:
Bradley Newton, Partially Sighted Footballer
Cameron Osburn, Cerebral Palsy Footballer
Che Gray, Amputee Footballer
Darren Harris, Blind Footballer
Rosie Hodgson, Powerchair Footballer
Each of the five players will be competing at The FA Disability Cup, now in its fourth year. The competition will be held at St. George’s Park this weekend, with five finals scheduled to take place in partnership with a range of impairment-specific organisations:
Amputee Cup Final in partnership with England Amputee Football Association
Blind Cup Final in partnership with the National Blind Football League
Cerebral Palsy Cup Final in partnership with CP Sport
Partially Sighted Cup Final in partnership with the National Partially Sighted Football League
Powerchair Cup Final in partnership with the Wheelchair Football Association
Bradley Newton, who became involved in Partially Sighted football after his eye sight was affected as a result of a stroke at the age of 16, explained his excitement, saying: "Playing at St. George’s Park is a special experience and to be able to share that with a brilliant group of team mates is fantastic. Since joining North West Scorpions I’ve not only been able to improve my own game, but I’ve made lifelong friends along the way. We’re now hoping we can take that spirit into the weekend to bring the trophy home."
Paul Elliott, Chair of The FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board, said: "This film is a great way of celebrating disability football by demonstrating the impact the game is having on the lives of those people who already play. By telling these stories, we hope to raise awareness of the opportunities that exist for all within grassroots disability football."
This year’s event will also showcase the exhibition of a new format of 2v2 blind football which The FA is developing as a beginner friendly-format of the standard 5v5 format currently adopted within blind football.