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Bury Rangers Embrace Inclusive Football

Bury Rangers Embrace Inclusive Football

Jon Wood12 Feb 2015 - 16:09
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Bury Rangers FC launches sessions for disabled youth players

12 February 2015

It's Saturday morning in East Hertfordshire. While most young footballers are either still in bed or out with their friends ahead of their Sunday games, a number of Bury Rangers players have given up their time to support a new venture for the community club.

Disability football is on the rise in Hertfordshire, and the Bury Rangers Club is fully on board. Backed by an army of young volunteers from their mainstream teams, Rangers have launched a series of inclusive football sessions at Wodson Park, in Ware.

Sessions take place on Saturday mornings from 11-12, with FA qualified coaches leading sessions and a group of passionate young leaders assisting. This small scheme represents how the club as a whole have embraced their newest community offering, and the club are proud to offer inclusive football as much more than 'ticking a box'.

As Matt Goodchild, Bury Rangers Development Director puts it, 'We believe every child should have the opportunity to play football, and we as a club wanted to put that belief into practice. One child with Down Syndrome came along to the session last week and was awarded a medal for being the ‘Player of the Day’, it meant the world to him, it was like winning the World Cup.”

As is the case with most new sessions, and with disability football in particular, participation numbers aren't always that high to start out with, but as Goodchild was quick to point out, the numbers are not what these sessions are about. "We had 6 children attend, and we hope more will come, but if you see the look of enjoyment on the children’s faces and the happiness of the families involved, that’s what it's all about".

Although only weeks into their new project, the scheme has the full backing of the Bury Rangers Club, with support from Hertfordshire FA and the Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust. Looking to the long term they are already planning for Grants, kits and festivals.

Goodchild adds, “We’ve got big ideas for this group and we want them to feel a part of the whole club community.”

Conor Craddock, Disability Football Development Officer (WFC CSE Trust), said “This Bury Rangers scheme provides fantastic inclusive opportunity in East Hertfordshire. Disability football is growing in the county, we already have a strong adult disability league, which with the work in partnership with Hertfordshire FA is continuing to grow. We’ve also found a lot of new interest from youth clubs and we are hoping to partner with more clubs like Bury Rangers to have an offer in almost every area of Hertfordshire.

To get involved with the Bury Rangers inclusive sessions, or for more information on disability football in Hertfordshire please contact Ken Headington on 01462 650 222 or email or contact Conor Craddock on 07977 183572 or


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