Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD) which calls for the creation of inclusive, accessible and sustainable societies and communities.
What is IDPWD for?
• Reflection - to look at our own past individual and collective actions, and to identify our goals for the future;
• Celebration - to recognize and value the diversity of our global community, and to cherish the role we all play, regardless of our abilities;
• Learning - to understand and learn from the experiences of people with living with a disability;
• It is a day for optimism - to look towards the future and the creation of a world where a person is not characterised by their disabilities, but by their abilities;
• Action - where all people, organisations, agencies and charities not only show their support for International Day of People with Disabilities but take on a commitment to create a world characterised by equal human rights.
This is therefore a perfect time to celebrate what a fantastic year we have had for Disability Football in our county and everything we have achieved.
We believe in flexible, inclusive and accessible playing opportunities for everyone, and are committed to delivering a range of opportunities for players with a disability to access football at various levels across the county.
As the first County FA to have a Disability Representative Squad, we have seen significant progress thanks to a thriving Sussex Disability Football League.
What’s more, the squad hit a huge milestone winning the South East Regional Disability 11v11 Competition at Middlesex FA.
Following victories over Sutton United, Wizards & Eagles and Caulkhead Strollers in Surrey, the Disability Squad qualified for the Semi-finals at Middlesex.
In the semi-final, Sussex cruised to a 5-0 win over Charlton Deaf then followed up with a 3-1 win over Sutton United in the final to lift the trophy.
As a result, the Disability Squad have since picked up recognition at our Annual Awards Evening this year and also progressed to the quarter-finals of another South East Regional Disability 11v11 Competition.
Sussex made an emphatic defence of their title scoring 15 goals without reply in wins over Chelsea, Southampton, Woking Wolves and Wandgas.
Our lead Equality Officer, Jade Harker, had this to say: “It's been a great year for Disability Football with more players than ever before taking part in regulated football.
“This year has also seen a rise in mainstream clubs supporting the development of Disability Football by raising awareness of the game and the disability provision here in Sussex.
“Crawley Town Foundation are a shining example of a club who has embraced disability this season by taking on three new disability-only teams as well as running regular Mental Health Football Sessions with ‘Moving the Goalposts’”.
Furthermore, Steve Atkins, Chairman of the Sussex Disability Football League, added: “Over the past few years our league has grown from strength to strength.
“We are seeing more and more people getting involved whether it be as a player, a coach, a referee or support.
“I feel privileged to be Chairman of such a fantastic league, the football on display and the atmosphere at our fixture is like no other in Sussex.”
For more information on Disability Football, please contact:
T: 01903 766855