Cobham hosts Cerebral Palsy football festival

The Chelsea Foundation held its first Cerebral Palsy Football Festival at our Cobham Training Ground on Sunday. 

The event was attended by 30 players with Cerebral Palsy and acquired brain injuries with participants taking part in football drills and matches under the guidance of the Chelsea Foundation Cerebral Palsy Centre of Excellence coaches. 

England Senior Cerebral Palsy team manager Jon Whittingham was also in attendance for the free event, which was open to anyone over the age of 10, including adults. 

Foundation inclusion project coach Andy Rose said: ‘It was a great day and a fantastic opportunity to get people with Cerebral Palsy together and out playing football with others who have the same condition. 

‘The main drive behind the disability inclusion area of the Chelsea Foundation is to get as many people playing football as possible regardless of any disability or standard. 

‘We had players come from as far away as Birmingham and Folkestone to get involved which shows what we are doing is making a difference to the lives of people.’ 

The Chelsea Foundation’s commitment to Cerebral Palsy football opportunities is not limited to a one-off event with our Centre of Excellence one of only four in the south of England. 

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Players of all ages play at our Cobham Training Ground on a regular basis with regional tournaments held at Bisham Abbey and a national Cerebral Palsy cup competition staged at St George’s Park once a year. 

‘We had some good news recently with the news our Centre of Excellence has had its licence renewed by the Football Association,’ added Rose. 

‘We are heavily involved in supporting those with Cerebral Palsy and the festival was an opportunity to celebrate that and get more players involved. 

‘We have between 30 and 35 players attend on a regular basis and it was a pleasure to give others the chance to enjoy the facilities and help them realise they are not alone and can still play football and participate.’