Players from the Chelsea Foundation pan-disability programme spent last weekend in Austria as part of the Spielerpass Cup.
A team of six players along with Foundation coaches travelled to the Austrian capital, Vienna, to take part in training sessions with Torino FC before playing their peers in a 12-team competition.
The tournament allowed participants to mix with players and coaches from across Europe with disability senior officer Andy Rose delivering a presentation to all clubs showcasing disability football at the Chelsea Foundation.
Disability co-ordinator Ellie Crabb said: ‘Playing against high level teams from across Austria brought new challenges to a group of players on their first tour with the club.
‘We enjoyed a tour of Vienna and took part in human table football amongst other activities adding to the occasion in the four-day trip.
‘A seventh-place finish overall and a thumping 9-2 victory in our final game was the highlight for many players, but for us as staff it’s about the whole experience and how this will support their lives in the future.’
Holly Jackson, who become a participant on the programme in September, said: ‘The trip has helped boost my confidence and self-esteem to create personal achievements as well as seeing my team-mates progress with their football and personal skills too.
‘I am now so much more excited and focused at excelling in football and taking extra care in my mental and physical health.
‘Being together with an encouraging team of footballers and enthusiastic and supportive staff has helped inspire me to stay strong and do whatever I put my mind to.
‘Taking part in the tournament has been a life-changing experience for me and an opportunity I wouldn’t have usually had which I am extremely grateful for.'
Are you wanting to get involved just like Holly? For more information on our weekly junior and adult sessions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.