EFL host first Day of Disabilities on 3 December
Monday 3 December is International Day for Disabled people and the EFL is hosting the first ever Day of Disabilities. EFL clubs up and down the country, along with their Community Trusts, will put on a variety of events throughout the day showcasing the impact they have in their local communities.
The EFL Trust in a recent new partnership with Wembley National Stadium Trust have invested £1.1million into the Every Player Counts programme, an initiative that gives 10,000 disabled people the opportunity to play football.
One of those clubs joining in on the day's activities is Sky Bet Championship side Leeds United. Along with their Foundation, they invited local disability groups down to their Thorpe Arch training ground to take part in sessions.
Leeds United Foundation worker Luke Harrison has Cerebral Palsy, who has secured his dream of becoming a coach at the club he supports. He said:
“I got a phone call after I completed my coaching badges at the Leeds City College asking if I would like to come down for an interview for a coaching position at the Leeds United Foundation. I’m a massive Leeds fan so I jumped at the opportunity to get involved. It has helped with my development as a coach during the time that I have been here and sport as a whole has helped my opportunities in football. I’ve had England trials and I have even been out to Switzerland to represent Great Britain at the World Championships.”
Leeds United first-team players, Barry Douglas and Izzy Brown were also in attendance at Thorpe Arch, and Brown said it was fantastic to see so many people at the event.
“It is so nice to see so many people down here and playing football with a smile on their face. I think it’s vital that we as players are out in the community and it’s an especially important factor that Leeds are involved because it is such a big City. I wanted to join in with one of the activities as it looked like everyone was enjoying themselves, it was great to see. The goalkeeper was shouting at me and telling me what to do which was nice, there was one lad who was very good, so I told him to make sure he didn’t nutmeg me on camera!”
This season the EFL have published a new set of Disabled Facilities Guides for supporters of all 72 league clubs – every season there is a new set of guidelines produced.