As a result of the innovative partnership between Active Cheshire and Cheshire FA, investment of several thousand pounds each year has been made available for training, transport and equipment amongst other things. As a result, football coaching and competition can be delivered to people with a range of disabilities. An extensive review of insight across disability sport and disability football showed there was significant latent demand to address. The findings showed that just 6% of County Disability League teams and 17% of Disability Football Development Fund (DFDF) participants were female despite over half of all disabled people in the UK being female.
This investment and unique partnership allows schemes such as The Cheshire Disability Social League (CDSL) to continue and grow. The scheme is extremely popular with its participants, with one describing how "The coaches are fantastic - they always encourage us and their support fills us with confidence to have a go and meet new people". Participants have even commented on how they wish more clubs would join the league so there would be even more diversity and opportunities to meet more like-minded people.
The coaches have acknowledged huge changes in the confidence and self-esteem of the participants as well as them gaining a range of new skills and improving their fitness. They're determined to keep the scheme going as the demand is there and with the funding being partly used for training, there are now more coaches qualified to run the sessions than ever.
This partnership will continue into the future, as addressing the lack of sport and physical activity for people with disabilities is a significant priority for Active Cheshire and our local partners.