13 December 2008

Wheelchair users' football chance

YOUNG wheelchair users will soon be able to enjoy a game of football like other children.
Fareham Borough Council has successfully gained funding to launch a Powerchair Football project.

The scheme will provide specialist football training for young wheelchair users.

The Football Foundation – the UK's largest sports charity funded bADVERTISEMENTy the Premier League – has given the project £7,270.

A further £1,000 will come from the Well Being Fund and Fareham council will put in £1,000.

AFC Portchester is supporting the initiative and will be looking to form a Powerchair team as well as providing coaching at the sessions.

It is hoped the project will work with the Wheelchair Football Association and take part in Powerchair Football competitions.

Fareham councillor Connie Hockley, who is in charge of community matters, said: 'The Powerchair Football project is a brilliant scheme as it makes resources available to those who may not have previously had access to such equipment.

'This grant also enables us to qualify two coaches to provide specialist training in order to take part in Powerchair competitions.

'This will encourage participation as it promotes team sports within the community.'

The Football Foundation grant will pay for two qualified coaches, attachments for wheelchairs, four specialist footballs and hiring of training facilities.

Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said: 'I am delighted that the Football Foundation is funding Powerchair Football and I want to congratulate Fareham council, the Hampshire FA and all the partners.

'Football is our national game and the Football Foundation is dedicated to creating a level playing field to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to enjoy the sport.'

The project will be launched on January 21 at Portchester Community School.

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