Today we held our first ever Level-Playing Fields Tournament at the Mercedes-Benz Football Hub, allowing children with disabilities the opportunity to represent their school alongside their classmates and peers along with promoting the inclusivity of everyone within football.

As part of our ShrewsAbility programme our Disability Officers organised an afternoon where three schools were invited to the Mercedes-Benz Football Hub to compete in series of mixed age and mixed ability games where children were encouraged to find ways of making sure that everyone was included.

First the teams were all treated to a quick tour of Montgomery Waters Meadow where they were taken to see the home and away dressing rooms along with the dugout and control centre, getting a behind the scenes look at the biggest football club in Shropshire.

Pupils from the three Shropshire schools, Condover, Sir John Talbot, and St Mary’s then came together to play out fixtures which saw them tailor the rules themselves in order to make sure everyone was included in play and got an opportunity to be involved in the games.  Rules were created which allowed certain players more time on the ball before they were able to be tackled,  made it necessary to pass to a certain player before the teams were allowed to score, and gave players their own space on the pitch where no other player could enter.

That wasn’t all. Towards the end of the session the pupils were treated to a surprise visit from the newly announced disability ambassador for Shrewsbury Town, Dave Edwards!

Dave came to join in with the tournament; helping out teams when needed and also spoke with the children, giving them encouragement and more ideas for how to make sure everyone was included within football.

Afterwards Dave gave his thoughts about why events such as these are so important. “This has been a great day for all the children involved. It’s a special thing to go and represent your school, an opportunity which some of these children might not get to do, so to be able to come and see them all playing together and making sure that everyone is included is fantastic.”

See more information on our disability sports programme – ShrewsAbility 


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