Wigan Athletic's junior and adult disability football teams train weekly at Wigan Youth Zone.
- Every Player Counts disability sports programme launched in 2016.
- Community Trust have worked with more than 600 people on the project.
- Latics’ junior and adult disability teams train at Wigan Youth Zone.
More than 600 people with disabilities are involved in Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s Every Player Counts sports programme, with a number of sessions taking place at Wigan Youth Zone.
Launched in 2016 by the Wembley National Stadium Trust and the EFL Trust, the project aims to get more disabled people involved in football and sport, with nearly 4,000 participants nationwide.
Latics run sessions in schools and colleges across Wigan as part of the programme, with the club’s junior and adult disability football teams training at Wigan Youth Zone before competing in fixtures in the Greater Manchester Ability Counts League at Salford Sports Village.
Joe Pym, Disability Football Officer at the Community Trust, said: “My role at the Youth Zone is to ensure there’s an inclusive element to the facility, which means running sessions that are accessible to all abilities.
“The Every Player Counts programme has been brilliant, and a lot of that is down to the safe sporting environment the Youth Zone offers young people.”
Latics recently hosted two disability sports festivals at Wigan Youth Zone, with more than 200 participants from primary and secondary schools across the borough in attendance.
“We deliver football sessions and various multi-sports, along with target sports such as boccia and new-age curling, however more importantly the role I have is to engage people with disabilities who may not be able to take part in regular sport at the Youth Zone without our support.
“The festivals that were held demonstrated just how inclusive the facility is, and it was brilliant to see so many people having a great time.”
Ahead of Wigan Youth Zone’s ‘Big Day Out’ at the DW Stadium this Saturday, Joe praised the centre’s staff and explained the impact the Latics badge can have on their members.
“The staff are really experienced in their areas and make it a welcoming place for everyone, which for me means the young people are getting the best possible experience.
“Being a part of Latics definitely helps when working at the Youth Zone because the pull of the badge is so inspirational for a lot of young people.”
Please email Joe Pym on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01942 318090 for more information about the Every Player Counts programme.
Visit www.wiganyouthzone.org to find out more about Wigan Youth Zone.