A disabled football league for colleges has begun in Merseyside in an attempt to get more young people involved in sport.
Liverpool County Football Association (LCFA) has joined up with a number of different colleges across Merseyside to provide a pan-disability league for those who attend the LCFA disability sessions.
Pan-disability sports are those where participants all have varying impairments. This league will catering to almost everyone, from those with learning disorders to cerebral palsy.
Although the league is unavailable to those who are blind there is an another blind football project available with the LCFA and those who are in wheelchairs.
The league, which comprises of ten teams of eight, began last week at Greenbank Sports Academy, with participants excited by the possibility of having a new Disability League in the area. Organiser Mark Horlick believes it is “about much more than just sport”.
The first day of the league was initially used to get a measure of each team of ten’s ability, so that players could be banded together to ensure a competitive environment. The league is now split into two sections, a Premier League and a Championship.
Horlick said: “The league has been created to enable the players that attend the LCFA disability sessions within their college to have the chance to play in a competitive environment and represent their college.
“This is a springboard for players to prepare them for adult football, whether that be in the Merseyside Ability Counts or mainstream football. With the creation of this college league we now have a clear pathway from Year 7 to Open Age.”
The league will have designated ‘league days’ every month, where the players will get together and play a number of matches in one day against each other. A special tournament is planned for the end of term in June to finish off the season.