This weekend will see the Chelsea Foundation stage our inaugural Disability Showcase with hundreds of young people and adults with varying disabilities visiting Cobham and Stamford Bridge for a weekend of football fun.
The two-day event will begin at our Cobham Training Ground on Saturday before switching to Stamford Bridge on Sunday and will be the largest football disability showcase event in the UK.
In total, more than 850 participants are expected to be involved over the weekend. This will incorporate eight disability football tournaments with 80 teams from 30 different clubs confirmed to take part.
Saturday’s activity at our Cobham training base includes a festival of football for pan-disability players in the under 8, 12 and 16 categories, a World Club Foot event, blind football showcase, walking football tournament and adult Cerebral Palsy cup.
The focus switches to adults on Sunday with pan-disability tournaments taking place on the hallowed Stamford Bridge turf.
Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck said: ‘We are very proud of our work in disability inclusion. We have players of all ages and abilities involved with the Foundation every week and this showcase is an extension of that good work.
‘To be able to offer this opportunity to around 850 disabled people is a really proud moment for us. Our aim is to make this an annual event and we hope to offer this experience to a lot more people in the future.’
Simon Taylor, Head of the Chelsea Foundation added: ‘We are delighted to offer this opportunity to not only players who are already involved with the Chelsea Foundation but also those who play with other professional clubs and for grass-roots teams.
‘Hosting this event is a real privilege for us and credit must go to our staff and coaches for their hard work in making this weekend happen and to everyone attending over the weekend, no doubt they will have a fantastic time.’
The event is organised and run by the Chelsea Foundation and highlights our commitment to the disability inclusion programme, which enables young people and adults with any disability to participate in regular, organised football matches and coaching sessions in a safe and enjoyable environment.
Thanks to the Premier League and the BT Disability Fund, the Chelsea Foundation seeks to make existing programmes as inclusive as possible so that disabled people can take part in a wider range of activities.
Through the delivery of equality and disability awareness training for coaches and teachers, the Chelsea Foundation embeds a culture of inclusive sport and physical activity, ensuring disabled people can access the sport or physical activity of their choice, inspiring them to be more active and encouraging them to develop the skills and confidence to realise their potential.