Argyle’s Ability Counts group has allowed Cory to develop from a shy 9-year-old to a confident, social 15-year-old teenager.
At 9 Cory was diagnosed with autism, learning difficulties, OCD, and anxiety which meant he struggled in social situations and with the ability to process and regulate changes in his day-to-day life.
Plymouth Argyle are part of the Every Player Counts programme which is funded by Wembley National Stadium Trust and EFL Trust. Every Player Counts has, over the past five years, helped get over 13,000 people with a wide range of disabilities playing football – many for the first time.
Since his participation in the Junior Ability Counts football team at Argyle, he has gained confidence, friends and played for the Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) team. Cory has also widened his horizons by joining a mainstream football team, something that would have been hard to imagine before he started with Argyle.
His development has presented itself in numerous ways. Since being involved at the Trust he has raised £2,000 for the Autism Association, a charity he was passionate about raising awareness for and supporting.
More so, he has gone on to complete his FA Refereeing qualification and now referees in the Devon Junior and Minor League every Saturday, as well as volunteering as a coach at the LTPD sessions.
Cory’s mum adds, “Cory really loved all things Football. When he first arrived he was really anxious and did not take to change very well. Cory has gained confidence and this is all thanks to the coaches that have supported him throughout playing in the Plymouth Argyle Ability Counts team.”
Cory is hoping to be given the chance to become a Sports Coaching Apprentice at the Community Trust when he leaves school next year.
Plymouth Argyle are one of 28 Football Club Community Organisations across the country that offer the programme, which is specifically developed for the needs of people in their local community, including those with both physical, mental and learning impairments.