The Sussex County FA Youth Working Committee hosted their first workshop event at Steyning Town Community Football Club on Thursday the 21st of December.
This consisted of players and coaches from three local football clubs, Fishersgate, Storrington and Steyning Town Community, selecting players to attend a disability workshop run by Kieran Green from the Sussex County FA Youth Working Committee.
The workshop included sessions involving deaf, blind and partially sighted football where players had the opportunity of learning in a safe environment and within an area some knew very little about.
Players were set drills whilst blindfolded and running with the assistance of partners to help guide them to the end point. After this, the drill progressed to using footballs adding a skill element, whilst still blindfolded.
The players then learnt about the British Sign Language basics and football related signs which they could then put into practice.
The session continued with players participating in a small sided game with some players wearing ear defenders to recreate playing without hearing, this then tested their knowledge of the Sign Language they had just learnt in game scenarios.
In addition, players were given different goggles which varied in range of sight. Some goggles were partially sighted to showcase the different levels of sight for some players, which gave those in attendance a different perspective of the game.
Overall, each player was able to take something away from the session and open their minds about something they take for granted each day.
After the event, Kieran Green, Sussex County FA Youth Working Committee Member said: “It was a really good morning and nice to see the group getting really involved.
“Hopefully each of them took a lot away from the workshop and it has raised awareness of some of the barriers within disability and football, and ways to get around them.”
The session was hosted by Steyning Town and their under-18s manager Jordan Walser added: "We were really pleased to work with the Sussex County FA to deliver this session.
“It was great to see lessons from the disability session taken into the later game play as the lads realised that signing rather than calling for the ball can prevent giving your intention away as an example."
Sussex County FA Youth Working Committee Chairman, Alex Bradley, commented: “It was great to see young people involved and keen to learn more about the different aspects of disability football.
“For the vast majority in attendance, this would have been the first opportunity they would have had to be involved and learn about disability football and it was good to see this taken on board.
“The Sussex County FA Youth Working Committee are eager to give more people the opportunity, within different backgrounds in football, the chance to try something different and we are willing to put on more workshops to achieve this.”
For further information about Disability Football please contact Development:
T: 01903 766855