13 Oct 2020
Football is for everyone and Belfast Trailblazers, a powerchair disability football club, open to all ages, gender and disability was awarded £2,500 through the Foundation on behalf of the Irish Football Association.
The Trailblazers will develop further opportunities for new and current members of the club aiming to increase participation, quality and enjoyment of football amongst those of all abilities and levels. The hope is that players will develop lifelong friendships with their teammates, and a real sense of belonging. Gaining confidence as their ability develops and the team experiences success on the pitch football reaching out will provide individuals with a positive addition to their routine, giving them something healthy and enjoyable to focus on.
Michael Hilland, “The club provides a great support network not only for players but coaches, family and friends. Football is key to bringing us all together, our players and coaches are fully engaged and excited to get playing each week.
It is a privilege coaching the Trailblazers, each and every player is full of passion for the game in each training session and match. It’s incredible knowing that we are making an impact in each of their lives just by giving them an inclusive environment where they feel comfortable to play the sport that they love despite their disability.
The club players were within the medically vulnerable group who had to shield during lockdown, affecting their emotional well-being and increased their sense of isolation. Working together with the IFA and grant support from the Community Foundation it was agreed that returning to training would go a long way to restoring the player’s self-worth, confidence and purpose.”
Orla Black, Grants Director “We are delighted to be partnering with Irish Football Association for the second round of Inclusive Clubs Programme offering up to £500 to encourage the growth and development of disability clubs throughout NI. We believe there should be flexible, inclusive and accessible playing opportunities for everyone, whatever their level of ability.”