Shrewsbury Town in the Community offer two Down Syndrome football sessions during the Shrewsability programme, one for those under the age of 16 and one for those over 16.
The sessions are supported by the Down Syndrome Association to support the development of participants in their footballing activities. The passionate staff from Shrewsbury Town work alongside each player to work to the individual needs of the footballer.
The sessions run every Monday at both Shrewsbury Sports Village, which hosts the over 16s session, and Severndale Specialist Academy, which is the venue of the under 16s session. From attending the sessions, Martin has been able to improve his social skills as well as increasing his ability as a footballer.
Martin Wilson is currently one of the over 16 Down Syndrome footballers and has been attending the Shrewsability sessions as a regular member over the last 4 years.
Speaking of Martin’s involvement in the Down Syndrome sessions, his carer Sarah Beesley said,
“Martin started attending the down syndrome football sessions as his mum was looking for a football or fitness session which Martin could get involved in which also includes an element of socialisation as a group activity.
“Since he’s been attending he has made some really good friends here as it’s a regular group of players that attend the sessions. His football skills have developed over the last 4 years since he has been coming. He really enjoys the sessions and always looks forward to coming to play football.
“Being given the opportunity to get involved in this group session has helped him to come out of his shell in other aspects of his life, and has also helped him to become more confident and more involved in everyday life outside of the session.
“These sessions are definitely recommendable. They’re good fun, but also have a structured set-up, which with the help of the coaches enables the participants to develop their skills.”
To find out more information about the Shrewsability sessions, click here