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25 October 2016

The scheme will help 100 young people with learning disabilities in Wigan to play football

Wigan Athletic first team stars Will Grigg and Michael Jacobs helped the Club’s Community Trust to launch their latest sports initiative for disabled young people at an event at the Soccerdome last week.

Thanks to a grant of £54,000 from the Wembley National Stadium Trust, the Every Player Counts will help 100 young people with learning disabilities to play football over the next three years.

To launch the scheme, 85 young people took part in a special football tournament which was won by Oakfield High School, who will now go on and represent Wigan in the Manchester School Games.

Striker Will Grigg who helped to present the medals and trophies to the players said: ”The event has been brilliant. Ever since we arrived everyone has just been so happy and they’ve given so much to the scheme. It’s been great fun to be involved.”

The Every Player Counts programme is funded by the Wembley National Stadium Trust and administered by the English Football League Trust. Through the scheme, Community Trust coaches will visit schools in Wigan on a weekly basis to provide free football and sports coaching, whilst running evening coaching sessions at Wigan Youth Zone. 

The Trust will also be increasing the number of players who get the chance to play for Wigan Athletic’s disability football sides. 

Peter Ackerley, Trustee for the Wembley National Stadium Trust, said: “Wigan Athletic Community Trust have satisfied us with a number of things in terms of the scale and reach of their programme in their locality, and they’ve managed to get local people with disabilities playing football regularly, which is a credit to them.”

Joe Pym, Disability Officer at Wigan Athletic Community Trust, said: “The scheme targets people between the ages of 12-25 with a disability, and we work in a number of different schools whilst also hosting evening sessions. The purpose of the scheme is to transition the children from schools into those evening sessions.”

For more information about the Every Player Counts scheme, please contact Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s Disability Officer Joe Pym on 01942 488 530 or e-mail

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