Football programme promotes inclusivity

| 06/04/2017
CNS Local Life

Football4All participants with parents and programme coordinator Shannon Seymour

(CNS Local Life): For the last four years, the Academy Sports Club’s Football4All programme has been providing children with special needs the opportunity to participate in an organised football programme. Started in 2013, the initiative runs about 40 weeks per year. There are 20 children registered in the programme, which has expanded from young people with autism to include those with Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities and other special needs.

The Wellness Centre, the Special Needs Foundation and EFG Bank AG (Cayman branch) are the sponsors of the programme.

“Academy strongly believes in the importance of programmes such as Football4All,” said Martin Cooke, Academy board member. “By working together with The Wellness Centre and our wonderful sponsors, we hope to continue to provide this opportunity for all children in Cayman to participate in activities most take for granted.”

The sponsorships from the foundation and EFG have enabled the inclusion of a therapist to lead the group as well as the purchase of football uniforms for the participants.

The Wellness Centre continues to manage and organise the programme. “Football4All is structured to be first and foremost fun – an opportunity to run and kick and play with friends,” said Shannon Seymour, director of the centre and programme coordinator. “We also try to use football to build social and communication skills that all children need to be successful such as following instructions, waiting for a turn and asking for help.”

At the core of Football4All is a belief in the importance of inclusion. It’s a principle shared by Academy Sports Club and its sponsors. “We are committed to this programme because we believe that every child has a right to participate in their community and that community organisations have a responsibility to create meaningful opportunities for inclusion,” said Seymour. “Football4All is about ensuring that all children have a place in our community.”

For more information about the Football4All programme, email Shannon Seymour 

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Category: Football, Sports, Youth

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