After 16 years of dedication to Charlton Athletic Ability Counts Football Club (CAACFC) and disability football, Secretary Brenda Osbourne and Club Chair Lesley White have stepped down from their positions running the club for disabled players aged 5+.
CAACFC is run as an extension of Charlton Athletic Community Trust’s (CACT) Ability Counts programme, offering competitive opportunities for disabled players across South East London and Kent through junior and senior teams.
Brenda and Lesley’s successor, Trevor Bennett, will take over their positions after working as a coach at the club for two years.
Brenda Osbourne said:
“Having spent the last 16 years volunteering and getting CAACFC to where it is now, I felt it was time for me to pass the baton on to someone else.”
When asked what kept her going, Brenda added:
“The players. Seeing the joy it brings to all of them, juniors and adults, that they can be part of a team. Also the parents/carers saying they never thought they would see their child play in a football team that understood their special needs or stand on the touchline and be cheering them on.
“I started as one of those parents and wanted to help provide a social area for children with a disability so they could enjoy football and make friends to help with their social development.
“I have enjoyed seeing the club grow, players joining as a junior and now still attending as an adult. I hope that the club continues to prosper and give enjoyment to new players and the Committee like it has done for me.”
Terry Peart, CACT's Disability and Mental Health Coordinator, said:
"On behalf of CACT we would like to thank Brenda Osbourne and Lesley White for all their extremely hard work with managing, coaching, overseeing the running of the ability counts pan disability club over many years.
"The work that goes into delivering such an amazing opportunity for children and adults with a disability to take part in tournaments and structured weekly training sessions for over 70 attendees is a credit to how they have built this club up."
Training sessions take place on Thursday evenings at the Charlton Athletic Training Ground in Sparrows Lane between 7-10pm.