Women only football sessions for players with disabilities is launching at the newly opened and developing Manadon Sports and Community Hub in Plymouth. Argyle Community Trust (ACT), the official charity of Plymouth Argyle Football Club, already offers a session for men who have a successful competitive team but say it’s been a long time coming to offer a women’s team, Josh Grant, Health and Disability Manager at ACT, said: “We have a really reputable male adult programme for people with a disability but, working with Devon FA we have identified a need to develop a provision for women to play football cross the city.”
The new provision was kick-started thanks to the support from Labour Councillor Pam Buchan who generously contributed £600 of her community grant. The funding will contribute to the promotion and recruitment of female players with a disability and mental health challenges, to purchase equipment for the sessions, for facility hire, and to up-skill coaches to deliver the new inclusive sessions.
Cllr Pam Buchan, said: “For too long football has been considered a men’s sport, despite our English women’s team having great success in international competitions. Argyle already runs men’s disability and I’m really pleased to be able to support the development of a similar initiative for women with disabilities.”
The Trust already offers a wide range of activity and football sessions for young people and adults alike across the city, many in partnership with local charities and schools. The aim of the sessions is giving carers respite and allowing people the opportunity to take part in fun-filled sport sessions, aimed at improving activity levels and social engagement.
“From our research and current attendees, we anticipate that the main catchment area for new female players will be from Manadon and the surrounding wards so we are delighted to get support from Pam,” added Josh Grant.
Work to create a brand new football, cricket and outdoor sports centre for the Manadon and Honicknowle communities is progressing well, with the all weather 3G pitch in place since early 2018 welcoming players of all ages and abilities, both through Trust-related programmes and general community use. The Manadon Sports and Community Hub is being delivered by Argyle Community Trust and Plymouth City Council and will be one of the best sports facilities in the city.