Chelsea Foundation’s Disability Showcase returns this weekend 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, which was held for the first time 12 months ago, will begin at our Cobham training ground on Saturday before switching to Stamford Bridge on Sunday. It will be the largest football disability showcase event in the UK.
In total, more than 800 participants are expected to be involved over the weekend. This will incorporate five disability football tournaments with 72 teams from a host of different clubs confirmed to take part.
Saturday’s activity at Cobham includes a pan-disability festival for players in the under-8s as well as pan-disability tournaments for under-12 and under-16 age groups, while the focus switches to adults on Sunday with three mini-tournaments taking place on the hallowed Stamford Bridge turf.
Running simultaneously at Cobham on Saturday will also be a Club Foot festival of football, for players aged three to 15 which has been organised with the support and assistance of Global Clubfoot Initiative, Steps (a national charity working for all those whose lives are affected by childhood lower limb conditions) and Chelsea & Westminster Hospital.
Andy Rose, disability senior officer for the Foundation, said: ‘It is an amazing event and really highlights and celebrates the hard work we do all year. It is the pinnacle of our year and we get to bring all our friends from other clubs along to enjoy it and play football.
‘The event is all about creating an opportunity for disabled people to play football and it doesn’t matter what club you play for or support or where you live, it is about having an opportunity to play football at Cobham or Stamford Bridge and it is vital we give children with disabilities the same opportunities as able-bodied players.
‘It’s not every day you get to have the whole training ground and stadium to yourself so for the club to give us access to that shows how important it is to the club and we are really proud to be associated with this football club.’
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 BT Sport 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.