We've today launched Football Your Way, a new campaign to help disabled footballers return to the sport and reclaim the moments they have missed, as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted across the country.
Funded by Sport England as part of the tackling inequalities funding programme, the campaign provides a new online information hub
to help support and motivate disabled people to feel confident and empowered to take part in football-based activities.
Whether you’re at home or in a local park, it will help encourage preparation for a return to the court or pitch for players, whenever they feel ready to do so.
There’s something for all ages and abilities on the Football Your Way hub, from skill demonstrations, to challenges and downloadable resources to suit all abilities and ages.
Over 9.4m people in England are disabled and research from the Activity Alliance - the national charity and leading voice for disabled people in sport and activity - indicates that disabled people and people with long-term health conditions have been disproportionally affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
78 per cent of disabled people reported feeling ‘very worried’ about the effect COVID-19 was having on their life, while 42 per cent of people with a health condition reported high levels of anxiety.
And nearly half (45 per cent) of parents say their disabled child’s physical health has declined.
So with lockdown restrictions continuing to ease, 55 per cent of disabled people want to increase their amount of physical activity.
The creation of our Football Your Way campaign will provide them with easily accessible and varied resources, catering for a range of abilities and ages irrelevant of whether players play mainstream, pan-disability or impairment specific formats of the game.
The campaign also hopes to inspire newcomers to the sport.
To further inspire disabled footballers to get active, England Football has also launched the 3 Step Challenge.
This encourages players to design their own 3 Step Challenge to help prepare for their return to the pitch, by picking an activity based around the number three.
More information on how to get involved and inspiration for challenge ideas are available on the Football Your Way portal.