Over 80 children from six Wigan schools took part in the event.
- Every Player Counts aims to get more people with disabilities involved in football and sport.
- The project is funded by the Wembley National Stadium Trust.
- Community Trust have worked with over 200 people this year as part of the programme.
First team players Craig Morgan and Ryan Colclough recently helped to launch the second year of the Every Player Counts disability sports project.
Over 80 young people from six local schools attended a football festival hosted by Wigan Athletic Community Trust, and improved their skills and techniques before taking part in a five-a-side tournament, which was won by St Peter’s High School in Orrell.
Formed in September 2016, the Every Player Counts project is administered by the EFL Trust and funded by the Wembley National Stadium Trust, with the simple aim of getting more with people with disabilities involved in football and sport.
Craig said: “It was a joy to be a part of the festival and to see so many young people having fun playing football. I’ve got children myself so I understand what it means to see them smile, so knowing we’ve made a small difference to these people’s lives feels great.”
The Community Trust have worked with over 200 people with disabilities this year and visit schools on a weekly basis to provide football and sports coaching to young disabled people, as well as running evening sessions at Wigan Youth Zone. The Trust also have adult and junior disability teams competing in the Greater Manchester Ability Counts Leagues.
Alison Jackson, Head of PE at St Peter’s High School, said: “The event was brilliant and is one of the highlights of the year for us as a school. We’re all exceptionally proud of our pupils who did so well, but credit must go to the staff from the Community Trust who were fantastic throughout.
She added: “Craig and Ryan’s visit was so inspiring and they were really engaging with the children which was so nice to see. We’ve got some good footballers in our group, so for them to be able to meet two professional footballers gives them something to aspire to.”
Adam Hesketh-Connolly, pupil at St Peter’s High School, said: “I’m Craig and Ryan’s biggest fan so to meet them was just something else. I couldn’t believe it when they arrived and it was just an amazing feeling to play with them and score goals in front of them.”
For more information about the Every Player Counts project, please contact the Community Trust’s Disability Football Officer Joe Pym on 01942 318090 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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