Location and general information
Whatever their differences, all children have the right to play and to enjoy the best conditions to stay fit and healthy. Unfortunately, this is not a reality for many disabled children, especially those living in disadvantaged areas. Disability is most prevalent in the north of England. In north-eastern England, 25% of people claim to be disabled, compared with only 14% in London (DWP Family Resources Survey 2015–2016). In order to meet growing demand, the Newcastle United Foundation will use the power of football to overcome barriers and to ensure that disadvantaged and disabled children are not left behind but are given opportunities to participate in a wide range of sports, to learn, to be healthier and to have fun.
The funding will be used to help create and build a regional flagship centre of excellence for disability sport, where disabled people of any age and ability will be able to enjoy sport and exercise without barriers as part of a ground-breaking activity programme using high-quality indoor facilities. The centre will not only promote active lifestyles and the recreational enjoyment of sport, alongside the associated health and well-being benefits, but will also raise aspirations by developing Paralympic champions of the future. A programme of pan-disability and disability-specific football sessions will be offered under one roof at this brand new centre, which will be accessible to disabled families from across north-eastern England and encourage them to become and stay active for life.
The project will give disabled children the opportunity to improve their fitness, mobility and balance. Football and other physical activities will also be used as a tool to help participants build their self-confidence, make friends and achieve their own personal goals on the football pitch and in life in general.
The new centre will be the home for weekly clubs and teams for children with disabilities:
- VI Football
- Deaf football
- Amputee football
- Walking football
- Frame football
- Pan-disability sessions
- Powerchair football
It will provide a venue for regular disability football competitions and fixtures for other visiting teams and groups from across the UK, bringing flagship disability sports events to the city.
In addition, the centre will be a thriving community hub on matchdays, offering matchday experiences for disabled fans and a home for the Disabled Supporters’ Association.
Once they have signed up, all disabled participants will be able to access the wide variety of programmes delivered by the Newcastle United Foundation, including personal development, education, employability, and health and well-being programmes.
The centre will also be accessible to schools and community organisations that support disabled and disadvantaged people.
- Host ten weekly disability football clubs for 36 weeks of the year
- Work with 40 Special Educational Needs schools
- Work with 35 regional disability organisations
- Organise 15 festivals, tournaments and competitions for 1,000 disabled people
- Deliver a comprehensive CPD and coach education programme for 100 coaches of disabled footballers and athletes
- Recruit 50 disabled young adults for a personal development programme