New centre paves the way for disability football in Aberdeen Sep 13 2017 | Sport Aberdeen

A new football centre focused on providing coaching for children and young people with additional support needs (ASN) in Aberdeen will launch on the September 15.

The initiative, which is a partnership project between registered charity Sport Aberdeen’s Active Schools and Aberdeen FC Community Trust, will target pupils from 12-19 and be hosted at Bucksburn Academy.

Following the successful development and delivery of a primary and secondary school ASN sport festival programme, this is the next step in creating opportunities for more people to take part in sport in the city.

Pupils from all over Aberdeen, whether in mainstream education or special schools, can access the participation centre, creating a fun and safe environment to play and develop their skills.

Jo Bell, Sport Aberdeen director for Sport and Active Lifestyles, said:

“Sport Aberdeen is committed to creating opportunities for increasingly more people to take part in sport and physical activity whilst breaking down barriers to participation. 

“This is a brilliant partnership project that we are very proud to be part of and we hope to encourage children, of all abilities from all over the city, to participate in football and reach their full potential.”

Grant Wilson, lead active schools coordinator with Sport Aberdeen, said:

“This is a massive step forward for football participation in the city. We have a thriving ASN school football league with teams from both mainstream schools and special schools.

“We now have the next step in our pathway to direct young people towards lifelong participation in sport. Many of the participants are passionate Aberdeen Football Club fans, so having their community trust as a partner is a fantastic boost to the programme.

“Having the centre based at Bucksburn Academy is a huge reward for the schools continued development and success with their ASN football teams.”

Coaches will use this as a selection pool for the new area development squad that will take place at the same time at the same place. This will remove as many barriers to participation as possible, allowing parents to see the progression through the pathway.

Harley Hamdani, Scottish FA Diversity & Inclusion Officer also commented:

“By working in partnership with Sport Aberdeen, we have been able to create this new pathway which now allows for children with additional support needs to enter the sport when in primary school and continue through into this newly created secondary participation session, while those who are excelling in the sport can progress into the

Development Centre and receive additional advanced coaching.

“It is a fantastic time to be involved in Disability Football in Aberdeen and AFC Community Trust are delighted to support more and more young people in accessing the sport across the city.”

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