June has since lots of activity within the BBFA Disability Pledge Project with the addition of 4 new members clubs and leagues signing up to help raise awareness of the Disability Football within Berkshire & Buckinghamshire. In another step forward we are also excited to announce the very first Disability Ambassador within a Youth League. The new organisations who have signed up for the Pledge Project are Slough Town, Reading Powerchair FC, Thames Valley Football Development League and the Milton Keynes & District Development League.
After consultation with the Thames Valley Football Development League (TVFDL) Committee and League Secretary, Elizabeth Barnett, they have committed to back the Pledge Project in the local region with a number of pledges including the additional of the first ever Disability Ambassador. Kay Lathey of Slough Town will take up this role for the League to share the latest disability football information at future TVFDL league meetings. We are delighted to add the TVFDL to the Pledge Club family and look forward to working with the league to help achieve all their objectives.
The Milton Keynes & District Development League (MKDDL) are another Youth League that has signed to the Pledge Project. The addition of the MKDDL has already seen a massive surge in interest from coaches in the Milton Keynes area. Several coaches from within the league attended a recent coaching disabled footballer’s course at the beginning of the month after learning about the course within a recent league meeting. The Pledge Project continues to have a strong presence within the Milton Keynes area and the MKDDL is a strong supporter of the project.
We are also pleased to announce Reading Powerchair FC and Slough Town as new Pledge Clubs. It is no surprise that Reading Powerchair FC is a proud supporter of Disability Football in Berkshire. The continuous work they do to promote Powerchair Football in the region has not gone unnoticed and we are proud to welcome the club into the Pledge family.
The last club are Slough Town who recently celebrated promotion to the National League South. What you may not know about the club is they also have two disability teams and are busy recruiting for a new U16 team this season. The club has pledged to continue to support disability football in the Slough area and we look forward to work with the club to increase opportunities and awareness in Slough.
One big challenge is promoting the vast array of different Disability Football opportunities across Berkshire & Buckinghamshire and getting information to those that could benefit from the provision. Sadly we hear about missed opportunities for potential new players with disabilities joining clubs because they were unaware of a local disabled football provision.
Did you know there are 54 Affiliated Disability Teams in our region?
Did you know that the BOBi League that serves Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire is one of the largest Disability Football Leagues in England?
It’s time for this to change and we are asking All Grassroots Clubs and Leagues to help us by pledging their support to promote disability football. Taking part in the Pledge Project is easy; clubs and leagues can make a pledge that suits the ambitions of the organisation. The pledge can be as big or small as the organisation decides but all pledges, regardless of size, will contribute to raising awareness of Disability Football.
There are 3 areas we are asking clubs to support; Awareness, Coach Education and Playing Opportunities.
Pledges don’t have to cost anything to the organisation and can require little time to complete but could have a big impact. In its simplest form an organisation could pledge to display the BBFA Disability Football Club Directory in their clubhouse. We have these professionally printed and ready to send out to clubs. By promoting this Club Directory a Player, Parent or Coach from the local region might see this and lead to a player with a disability getting involved with a local disability club.
BBFA will support all four organisations with their Pledge commitment and thank the committees for signing up to the Pledge Project.
If your organisation is interested in learning more about The Pledge Project please visit the dedicated webpage. The webpage has lots more information about the project with further examples of potential Pledges.
We also have a one-page information sheet which is easy to download, print off and share with your community members as well as a copy of the BBFA Disability Club Directory which you will find attached to the bottom of this page.
If your organisation is interested in making a Pledge or Discussing Potential Pledge Ideas please contact Disability Football Development Officer, Jonathan Coles, via the details below.