Preston North End Community and Education Trust [PNECET] has launched its Every Player Counts programme in partnership with the Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre.
Every Player Counts is an EFL initiative that aims to increase sports participation for all, by encouraging more disabled people to get involved in football, with Preston North End one of 28 EFL clubs running the programme.
There are PAN-disability sessions taking place for adults and children, starting on a Friday night, from 7pm until 8pm, at the club’s community training centre in Ingol for those aged 16 and over. The Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre also operates a session in the hour before, from 6pm until 7pm, which disabled players are also welcome to attend.
There is also a session for players aged four to 16-years-old from 10am until 11am at UCLan Sports Arena on a Saturday morning.
Disabled men, women, boys and girls, of all ages, are encouraged to attend, no matter their disability or their level of footballing ability – even if it is their first time playing.
Speaking at the launch of the adults’ session, PNECET Inclusion Coach Alistair White said: “The Every Player Counts programme is all about just getting disabled players – whether it’s a visual impairment, a physical impairment or just any learning difficulty – involved in football, giving them that opportunity whether it’s their first time playing, or playing competitively.”
Chairman of Sir Tom Finney Soccer Centre Peter Mason added: “There are the obvious links between the Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre and Preston North End because of our name, however to be working in partnership with the town’s professional club, Preston North End, is a big lift for the coaches and players.”
The partnership will also form a pathway for people to play competitive football, should they wish, through the Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre’s adult and young PAN-disability teams that compete in the Lancashire FA Ability Counts League.
Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre’s Lead Disability Coach Faisal Member also spoke of the social importance that the Trust’s new involvement in the sessions can provide for participants.
“Most of our players are massive PNE fans, so having that association with the club that they love – with their heroes that they go and see on a Saturday – it’s going to be massive for them,” he said.
For more information about the session or the link between PNECET and Sir Tom Finney Soccer Centre, please contact Alistair White on Alistair.firstname.lastname@example.org or 01772 693309.