Farnham Powerchair Football Club created
THERE are so many footballing opportunities for children and adults in the Farnham area – but until now, those who need to use a wheelchair have had to travel for around 30 miles to be able to play the sport.
This has now changed as a newly-created Farnham Powerchair Football Club – to be based at Farnham Heath End School – will enable local wheelchair users from next month to have the opportunity of playing football.
One parent, Hannah, said: “We have moved from an area where we had an established powerchair football club on our doorstep and a number of others in the local area.
“In Farnham we found our nearest clubs were Reading, Portsmouth or Crystal Palace.
“Travelling for an hour for training just wasn’t possible for us, so it is really exciting to be able to work with other parents, the FA and WFA to build something in the local community, especially after lockdown has severely limited opportunities for disabled people to access sport.”
It has been a real team effort to get the new club up and running; parents of local children have been working closely with the Wheelchair FA, Surrey FA and Farnham Heath End School to make it happen.
Sue Barnley, mum to Harry, a Farnham Heath End School pupil who is in Year 9, had a conversation with the principal, Stuart Maginnis, who was only too delighted to get the school involved.
He thought it was just the type of community project the school wanted to be involved with – and said he could not wait to see the progress made over the coming months.
The club is now looking for new members and is open to children and adults of all ages.
Sue said: “We have powerchairs players can use, so they don’t need any special equipment – just come along and have a go.”
Powerchair football is aimed at individuals who use a powered or manual chair, although anyone with a physical impairment can take part.
The taster sessions that have taken place so far have proved very successful, and the club is looking forward to holding weekly sessions on Saturday mornings from March.
To start, the club will consist of beginners, but in time it will also look to have teams playing against other powerchair clubs, as well as playing in the national powerchair football league.
The new club is counting down the days before the weekly sessions start, and it is grateful for the support the Wheelchair FA and Surrey FA have provided to get the club to where it is now.
Hannah said: “Adam and Ryan from the WFA have been invaluable in providing taster sessions and ongoing advice, and Eve Roberts from Surrey FA has offered massive support and enthusiasm – so much so that she has become the chair of the new club.”
Anyone interested in going along to a taster session should get in touch with Sue Barnley by email at [email protected]
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