Worcestershire Football Association (WFA) Football Development Officer Ollie Williams and Disability Clubs' representative Derek Cunningham MBE...

WFA has been providing facilities and personnel to support disability football in the County for over a decade. There are currently eight affiliated teams, four of whom regularly take part in a safe, competitive environment alongside teams from Herefordshire and Shropshire. In this endeavour, there is a constant need to bring new players and volunteers to the game to ensure ongoing growth and increasing success. It is also very important to keep providing opportunities for the disabled community to take part in active sports. This stance is born out of experience alongside an increasing profile of disability sport in conjunction with the legacy of London 2012, resulting in significant growth under heightened media attention. However, over the years it has become apparent that the level of involvement among our colleagues, who experience limiting conditions, is a long way below that of the general community. WFA believes that even greater effort needs to be brought to bear on improving this deficit and they perceive that such an effort must be sought from as wide a group of supporters as possible.

Consequently, WFA is proposing a new project. The general aim will be to bring together academic, professional and vocational practitioners along with members of the voluntary groups who currently have influence in the delivery of sport and services to the disabled community. The purpose will be to try and determine the range of circumstances that are perceived as barriers to participation and to present a widely-applied motivational programme of events to attract players and volunteers to get involved. It is recognised that football is only one form of active sport and wherever possible the project will present multi-discipline events to ensure that the maximum range of activities can be experienced. We have already established a link with both the University of Worcester and Worcestershire County Cricket Club to deliver a potential #Project3000 - encouraging 3000 new participants into sport over a 3-5 year period.

If you would like to read a copy of the proposal or express your interest in supporting the project as an individual, an organisation or a named colleague please email Ollie.Williams@worcestershirefa.com by August 28th 2015. Opportunities include taking a place on the influential project steering board to provide guidance and organisational support to the endeavour. With your help the project team can ensure that every planned event and media communication will be accurately targeted and be both ethically and motivationally pertinent. The potential outcomes of the project could be profound and hugely beneficial to all that can be persuaded to become engaged in any active sport.

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