Since January 2022, the Huddersfield Town Foundation has delivered multi-sport sessions for young people with a disability and/or special educational needs with funding from Kirklees Council.

Within the group, all aged between eight and 18, there are a range of disabilities ranging from autism and downs syndrome to selective mutism and deafness.

Lewis, who has a rare condition called Fragile X syndrome, attends weekly at Huddersfield Leisure Centre and has benefited massively from doing so. This is his story.

Lewis’ Mum Vicky described getting him to the first session as “quite a challenge.”

However, during the relatively short duration of the programme thus far this has changed to “now he can’t keep away- if the sessions were on every night he would attend!”

At eight years old Lewis is the youngest attendee, but he is never shy to get stuck in and loves being at the centre of the action.

When playing football, he also seems keen to take a leaf out of Maradona’s book when it comes to handball and trying to win!


Riley, the oldest member of the group at 14, has taken Lewis under his wing and the pair have struck up a strong friendship.

Lewis is always quick to ask to be on Riley’s team whether they are playing football, dodgeball or cricket, or even doing a warm-up – the pair are competitive and always seem to be working together to try and win.

The pair are quite the force in dodgeball and adopt some unique methods to catch other participants out. Lewis himself has said “I love it- I like Riley the best.”

Lewis and Riley’s friendship shows exactly how participants engage with each other and help each other out during these sessions, no matter their age, disability, ethnicity, or ability.

The group are all very patient and understanding with each other yet maintain a competitive environment and push each other to learn new things and of course to try to win.

“Lewis also suffers from ADHD and hypermobility, so some games can prove quite demanding and following instructions is also quite a challenge. However, neither of these have impacted his ability to attend every session for the full hour each time,” said Vicky.

Lewis’ Dad Ashley adds:

“He has benefitted massively from the programme.  When he attended mainstream football sessions, he found it extremely frustrating as he couldn’t compete and found some instructions too challenging to understand.

“At the Town Foundation’s inclusive sessions the coaches understand that it is not a mainstream session, and this allows the children to thrive.”

Weekly sports sessions take place at the times and days listed below and are free to attend.

Tuesday evenings, 6pm – 7pm at Huddersfield Leisure Centre, HD1 4BP

Wednesday evenings, 5pm – 6pm at Dewsbury Sports Centre, WF12 8EN

If you would like to register interest on behalf of your child (ren), please contact Elliott Cuttle via email: Elliott.cuttle@hatfcfoundation.com or call 01484 503773.  Alternatively, more information can be found HERE.