Chamberlayne athletic Football Club had their first training session for New Hampshire pan Disability Football supported by the Saints Foundation.
The club had a great turn out for the first training session and would like to thank all the players who turned up for this.
We are still however looking for more players so If you are interested in coming along no matter what your disability please come along as everyone is made to feel welcome by the club.
Saints Foundation is launching a new pan-disability league this summer, with former Great Britain and England international Martin Sinclair coming on board as an ambassador to support it.
The pilot league, which will be open to all ages and disabilities, will be launched at St Mary’s Stadium on Wednesday 1st June and then played over the following three weekends at a central location in Hampshire.
Saints Foundation will be working with five clubs across the county – Eastleigh, Sholing, Littleton, Fawley Falcons and St Frances – to develop their own disabled teams.
Individuals and teams are being encouraged to sign up to play at St Mary’s on 1st June. Under-12s and under-16s will feature from 3pm-6pm, with adults playing from 5.30pm-9pm.
This will allow Saints Foundation to develop a format that is suitable for all, with the aim to then launch a full league in September or October this year.
Backing this up is the arrival of Sinclair as ambassador for the Foundation’s SaintsAbility+ programme, which offers regular football development sessions for young people and adults with physical and cognitive impairments.
Sinclair, who is recently retired from the game, represented Great Britain at the 2012 Paralympics, in London, featuring in the cerebral palsy team.
Speaking about how he felt when he was told about the new league, Sinclair told Southampton's official YouTube channel: "It gave me goosebumps and made my hair stand up on the back of my neck.
“It gave me belief that we can inspire the next generation of kids and hopefully we can do that with everybody's help coming together.”
Sinclair, who lives in Basingstoke and whose younger brother, Jake, came through the Saints academy, added: "I'm very pleased [to become an ambassador]. I've recently retired from international football and hopefully this is a stepping-stone to bringing people together and inspiring the next generation of kids coming through to SaintsAbility+.
"I was in a wheelchair for three-and-a-half years and in and out of hospital for nearly eight years of my life, and football gave me a stepping-stone and the confidence and self-belief that I can achieve what I want to achieve, and hopefully I can bring that to Saints Foundation and SaintsAbility+.”
Phil Hastings, Saints Foundation Funded Projects Manager, said: “I am absolutely delighted about the launch of the new pan-disability league and Martin coming on board as a SaintsAbility+ ambassador. Both demonstrate our commitment to inspiring and encouraging those with disabilities through the power of football.
“We want to achieve something really positive through the league and ensure it has a positive impact on all those who get involved. It is, therefore, superb to have the support of Martin behind it."
More information for those interested in participating, can be obtained from Rob Pearce, SaintsAbility+ Project Officer, via mailto:[email protected] or 0845 688 9370.