Following a successful opening day at Chelsea Foundation’s Disability Showcase at Cobham on Saturday, Stamford Bridge today hosted more than 300 disabled footballers for day two of the annual event.
In the spotlight at yesterday’s event was players aged three to 16 years old but today it was time for the adults to shine.
The two-day event, which highlights our commitment to the inclusion programme and enables young people and adults with any disability to participate in regular organised football matches and coaching sessions, hosted 32 teams which included Premier League sides AFC Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Norwich City.
Chelsea Foundation disability coordinator Ellie Crabb said: ‘It’s really important that we do these type of events so that we can bring people together because some don’t get the opportunity in the areas they live or the schools they go to.
‘A lot of people are excluded when they have a disability and so this event is about trying to change that mind set and make people understand that differences are okay.’
While all participants at the Bridge were winners on a day filled with plenty of sunshine and competitive but enjoyable battles, the day belonged to Sutton United, Village Pink and 1066 Specials as they were crowned winners of their respective tournaments.
Ryan Cheeseman, skipper of Premiership winners Sutton United, said: ‘Today has been excellent! There’s been some really good performances from the teams, we’ve had some really tough games so it’s been a great achievement from my team.
‘It’s such a great experience for us to play at Stamford Bridge, and it’s good for our families to have been able to come and watch.
‘It’s really good of the Chelsea Foundation to put events on like this. It’s great for disability football and it just continues to get bigger and better every year.
‘For a Premier League club to recognise and give us a day where all these players can showcase their abilities despite their disabilities, is a real great achievement for everyone to be a part of and I just want to thank Chelsea for putting this on today.’