By Adam Tutton
Bristol Rovers Community Trust pride themselves on their celebration of the individual and removing focus from any player’s disability.
The relaunch of the Bristol Rovers Ability FC aims to encourage disabled adults and young people to not only to participate in sport, but focus on their existing abilities and the social benefits of joining a football team.
Almost 1 in 5 people in the UK live with a disability, according the Department of Health. That’s around 12 million individuals or 19% of the UK population. A recent survey by the English Federation of Disability Sport (EDFS) also revealed that only around 2.15% of disabled people take part in disability football. As an organisation, Bristol Rovers Community Trust currently support and promote the Bristol Rovers Ability FC programme, running disability football teams for both adults and younger people.
Upon hearing about the challenges of encouraging children with a disability to partake in sport, especially in regards to the awareness of existing clubs and societies, Bristol Rovers Community Trust wanted to actively support both adults and young people to make the first step and reach out to clubs like Bristol Rovers Ability FC.
Bristol Rovers Community Trust have kindly donated a complete new Rovers Kit for the team as well as organising a bucket collection for them before the game against AFC Wimbledon. With the help of very generous Bristol Rovers Fans over £600 was raised that will go towards new balls, bibs and equipment for the team.
“With this donation of both kit and a financial contribution we hope to encourage further disabled adults and young people to join up with Bristol Rovers Ability FC, and develop both their physical, social and footballing abilities” said Adam Tutton, Bristol Rovers Community Trust CEO.
Bristol Rovers Ability Football Club has been running since 2003. They have a wide range of players in the club that have different disabilities varying from learning disabilities, ADHD through to physical disabilities. The club aims to give all players the opportunity to play football and enjoy themselves. They have regular tournaments which all players participate in. For most of the players they often struggle to find clubs to cater for their needs and abilities.
At Bristol Rovers Ability FC these needs are fully supported.
“We’ve had a couple of players come along who have been very low in their own self-confidence,” Bristol Rovers Ability FC coach, Keiron Pfister said. “By being able to take part in the team and active football, their confidence has grown.
This is a football club open to adults with any disability and new players are always welcome.
Sessions take place on Sundays 10-11am (under 16's) and 11am-12pm (over 16's). It costs only £5 per session
For further information contact Bristol Rovers Community Trust.