European experience for disability players

Players and staff from the Chelsea Foundation disability inclusion programme travelled to Switzerland this month to take part in the Football Is More Disability tournament.

The Chelsea Foundation disability inclusion programme enables young people and adults with any disability to participate in regular, organised football matches and coaching sessions in a safe and enjoyable environment. It encourages them to be more active and to develop their skills and confidence to realise their potential.

The opportunity arose for eight players from the programme, aged 16 to 24, to take part in the competition held in Bad Ragaz where they came up against their counterparts from Benfica, AC Milan, Werder Bremen and Leicester City.

During the six-day tournament, the group also experienced a fun-filled event away from playing football where they enjoyed a game of golf and a swim in a local mountain lake.

Andy Rose, disability inclusion officer for the Foundation, said: ‘The trip went really well and the players had a great time.

‘These tournaments are a fantastic opportunity for players to experience competitive football without boundaries, and the focus is on their ability and not their disability.

‘Prior to this trip some of these players had not been away from home and the feedback from both players and parents has been very positive.

‘This was also a great opportunity for our coaches to share ideas, best practice and observe how other coaches work.

‘I am really proud of the work that we are doing around disability sport and look forward to developing our programmes even further.’

For more information on the Chelsea Foundation Disability Inclusion Programme, please contact disabilityinclusion@chelseafc.com