17 May ALL-INCLUSIVE FOOTBALL SESSIONS BENEFIT COMMUNITY
Every Thursday from 12.30pm until 2pm for the past year, the Huddersfield Town Foundation has been running an all-inclusive football session aimed at those with mental health challenges and disabilities.
The sessions at Leeds Road, help to generate confidence and a sense of belonging for the participants.
Isaac Keighley, the Foundations Disability Coordinator, spoke briefly on the benefits he can see from the programme:
“It has done a lot for participants. We have a real big emphasis on the social side of the sessions. We try to do introductory circles where you mention your name and other different facts. This works really well as a lot of the members are now friends!”
The Club helps to promote mental well-being by encouraging the members to get active and come to the weekly training. Each session incorporates football drills, games and of course the tournaments that are often put on across the country.
The team have already been to and had success at Dewsbury and Harrogate with the Ability Counts League. It is now looking forward to fixtures in Saltaire on Sunday 2 June 2019.
The trips away offer all manner of benefits mainly including networking within the side. It is often difficult for those with mental health challenges to get out of their comfort zones, but together it is much more manageable, and the players quickly become friends.
“We try to plan as many fixtures and festivals as possible as well as the sessions as this gives the players a real chance to get to know each other. Not only this, but it gives them a great sense of achievement being able to compete.”
Members travel together to tournaments and even to the training sessions giving them another reason to get up and get active! There is a real family atmosphere surrounding club.
One of the team members, Matthew, has been attending the sessions for around seven months and highlighted what makes him come back each week.
“Sometimes there can be 19 of us per session and everyone is just on the same level. Everyone is just the same as everyone else and I consider them all to be my friends!”
Want to get involved? Contact Isaac via Isaac.firstname.lastname@example.org.