The Disability Football section was set up in December 2005 by Daniel Rogers. The initial aim was to provide more opportunities for people with disabilities to play football as few existed in the area. With the support of Coach, Anthony Roche, we started with only 5 players. Over the past 8 years we have seen Disability football grow, not only within the club but across Hertfordshire.
Now in 2014 the section, has moved from strength to strength. We have 4 teams playing in 2 Leagues and 1 Cup across a number of counties. In addition to this we coach in Disability Schools, Colleges and Day Care Centres across the District of St Albans.
We have two teams competing in the Premier and Championship Divisions of the Middlesex 5 a-side League.
We also have teams playing in the Hertfordshire Inclusive Football league, where other disability football clubs from the Hertfordshire area play against each other. We are a founder member of this League.
More recently we have entered the Ryman's League Disability 11 a side Cup where teams from South East England play in top Sports Stadiums with high level match officials and serious pre and post game requirements. These matches are more serious, include travelling long distances and is a step up for the lads. They are enjoying the experience.
Disability football has been growing in the UK for the last 10 years and St Albans City Youth has been one of the key founders of Disability Football in Hertfordshire. There is now a clear player pathway for players to progress to Disability England squads. The Disability Team at City Youth has been working with key partners in the community not only to provide a chance to play football, but also to train more disability coaches and place them in community projects running in St. Albans. We currently have started to look to train up coaches with Disabilities acting as Role Models in local Schools and Centres encouraging more people to get involved in sport.
In 2012 five of the St Albans City Youth Disability Community Coaches were rewarded by being asked to carry the Olympic Torch in London at the start of the Paralympic Games. This was a life changing experience.
If you would like to find out more about our Community Programmes contact Dave on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Disability Section would like to thank the following organisations and community groups for their support:
Hertfordshire County Council – Aiming High Training Programme
The Herts Sports Partnership, O2, Hertfordshire Police, St. Albans Special Olympics, Active St. Albans, Hertfordshire F.A, Sport Relief