The Chelsea Foundation visited Markway School in Andover to provide a day of football activities and offer advice on healthy living last week.
The pupils from the special needs school received the full benefit of the Foundation coaches' knowledge and experience on Friday 11 January, when they took part in a training session based around improving technical skills such as passing and dribbling, before showing what they had learned in a series of small-sided games.
They also received important advice about nutrition and why the right diet is essential, especially for those who want to take part in sport. The visitors from Chelsea gave a special morning assembly on the subject, with the children taking part in a quiz at the end to see what they had taken on board.
'The children's attitude, effort and behaviour was fantastic, and their willingness to learn showed real maturity,' said Chelsea Foundation Hampshire development coach Philip Moody.
'They all played with a smile on their face and took part in all the drills and matches. Over the whole day, they were a huge credit to their school.'
Hampshire is set to be the next area to benefit after the huge success of the Chelsea Foundation's excellent work on pan-disability grassroots football in Surrey, which has received widespread praise.
That success has even led to the Blues taking over the running of both the south-east region's Cerebral Palsy Centre of Excellence and the multi-category Player Development Centre for the Surrey FA, meaning the Foundation now others a full pathway for disability players from the grassroots to the elite and even international levels.
The Foundation is now hoping to replicate that success in Hampshire, starting by offering free coaching to all special needs schools in the county. The initial aim is to ensure that all children at such schools will have access to take part in football or any other sports they want to try, with plans to expand later to include after-school courses such as skills centres and, eventually, Player Development Centres similar to the one set up in Surrey last year.
If you would like more information about the disability work carried out by the Chelsea Foundation in Hampshire or would like to inquire about their coaches visiting your school, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find out more about the wide range of disability projects conducted across the entire Chelsea Foundation network by contacting Football+ development manager Rob Seale at email@example.com.