WATCH this short clip that captures Ability Counts FC and its positive impact on both the players and their parents/carers.
Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) are pleased to help support Ability Counts FC, the football club that offers training and competitive opportunities for people with PAN disabilities.
Known as Charlton Athletic Ability Counts FC, the club is for players aged 8 all the way through to adults who want to play football.
Focussing on the ability to play and not the technique, the club’s head coach Sam Dawson discussed the programme and its enjoyment for the participants involved.
“There’s not a lot of clubs that take disabled players on,” he said.
“Most of the players that come here can’t make it mainstream, so that’s why they come to us to play football and to play games.
“Mainstream teams, some of the levels are too high for them so they can’t get involved or they are not just welcome unfortunately.
“Here we welcome all disabilities and they come here with players with the same or different disabilities so they learn about each other.”
A mother of one of the participants said her son Joe has felt part of a common group since joining Ability Counts FC a few years ago.
“Joe’s been coming to Charlton for the last couple of years,” she said.
“He always loved football, always wanted to play football but never really had the opportunity to do it because of his disability.
“When we first found out he was going to be coming here, he was so excited. When he came home after coming, he sat on the bottom step, took his boots off, took his shin pads off and said to me - Mum, Mum, there are kids there and they’re just like me.
“It made me feel like he started to belong to a team, to a group of people that were just like him, that just wanted to play football, just wanted to enjoy football, without any matter of disability they have got.”
The club’s sessions take place on Thursday evenings at the Charlton Athletic Football Club Training Ground in Sparrows Lane between 7.00-10.00pm. The team then plays in the Kent Disability League.
The programme is fully self-funded and is currently looking for a sponsor to help with on-going costs.
To find out more and to be involved, please contact:
Call: 07 950 336735