Saints Foundation to host Pan Disability finale at Staplewood

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As the second season of Saints Foundation’s regional Pan Disability league, sponsored by Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, draws to a close, players are looking forward to a season finale hosted at Southampton FC’s Staplewood Training Campus.

This year, the league has grown again in numbers, with 18 adult teams and 12 junior teams competing across the three age groups.

The premise of the league is to provide opportunities for disabled people to play football in a competitive environment, giving them a platform to showcase their abilities.

“My son really enjoys it,” A parent of an U16 player said. “It enables him to come and play football. The fact that it is inclusive makes a huge difference otherwise playing football would be difficult.”

Over 250 players from a variety of community football clubs, charter standard football clubs and disability sport providers from the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Eastleigh, Andover and Southampton turn up once a month to play at Toynbee School in Eastleigh, strengthening the disability football network across Hampshire.

The impact the league has had on the local community is evident in the strong bonds created between players, coaches and supporting families. Match days are full of celebrations and examples of fair play, underpinned by competitive football.

“The league is great because everybody gets the chance to play, the coaches are very good at getting everyone involved and making sure it’s not too one-sided.” Phill Rogers, Eastleigh FC’s Pan Disability Coach said. “Players get the chance to challenge themselves against good players whilst learning their own game. It’s a very friendly atmosphere which is well run by Saints Foundation’s staff, and all the other coaches involved.”

Cohesion between the clubs, Hampshire FA and the Referee’s Association helps to enhance the playing experience, and as interest continues to grow and adaptions are made, the league has been able to match abilities even further, making sure that fixture days are full of excitement, enthusiasm and passion for the game.

For the league finale, Saints Foundation will welcome all 30 teams to Southampton FC’s state-of-the-art training facilities on Sunday 5th August to play their final fixtures of another groundbreaking campaign.

To see the current league standings, click here.

To find out more about the Pan Disability League, contact Mike Pink at mpink@saintsfc.co.uk.

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