Football: First Gloucestershire FA female disability team launched

First published in Sport

MISFITS Inclusion Women’s Football Club are ready to launch Gloucestershire FA’s first-ever female disability team, writes Simon Parkinson.

The club, who already have an adult female team participating in the Bristol Women’s Football Casual League, have launched the Inclusion team in partnership with Gloucestershire FA (GFA) and Access Sport.

The national charity’s two-year project, the Ignite Programme, aims to provide sporting opportunities for disadvantaged and disabled people and, in this case, females to get involved in football.

The club will be looking to take fitness and football sessions to local community groups and disability organisations and engage with colleges and universities to help raise their profile and encourage females to get involved.

They are also recruiting volunteers who would like to get involved in working with the new participants.

With funding received from the Gloucestershire FA, the club can support volunteers to gain valuable and recognised coaching qualifications through the FA Level 1 Coaching Course and FA Coaching Disabled Footballers Course, which are vital in ensuring players and coaches can benefit from this opportunity.

GFA Women and Girls football development officer Alexis Lunn-Gadd said: “There is a definite need for this opportunity in the county. The project’s primary aim will be to increase inclusive participation opportunities for females in and around the Bristol area, and if it appears to be successful then we will look to replicate the work in other areas of the county.”

“This isn’t just a football session; the Misfits Inclusion team are keen to help support their participants with personal development both socially and physically, provide opportunities for disabled and non-disabled volunteers and coaches through the Gloucestershire FA Coach Education Programme and, if the players want to participate competitively, there is potential to develop this via the Gloucestershire FA Ability Counts League which currently offers male participants with a disability the opportunity to participate in a competitive fixture programme. Having said this, players do not need to have any playing experience to get involved.”

Any players, coaches or volunteers wishing to get involved in the project should contact Julia Williams at julia.williams@accesssport.co.uk (07917 753937) or Alexis Lunn-Gadd at Gloucestershire FA on 01454 615888 (alexis.lunn-gadd@gloucestershirefa.com)

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