While the sports world celebrates the 100 Day countdown to the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, the Welsh town of Cardiff will mark the event with a first-of-its-kind football (soccer) training session for blind players. The Every Player Counts project is a local initiative designed to provide football (soccer) instruction and opportunity to disabled players in the greater community. In partnership with Cardiff City Football Club (CCFC), the initiative is the largest of its kind in Wales having attracted 500+ attendees, ages 5-45 since its 2010 inception. Participants include groups with Downs Syndrome, learning and physical disabilities, those who are deaf and hard of hearing and wheelchair users.
Every Player Counts has enjoyed a series of achievements and was recently awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark which recognizes non-profits utilizing sport for greater social change and opportunity. Jo Coates-McGrath, Cardiff Council’s Disability Sports Development Officer, says of the Every Player Counts initiative, “This is a great example of how grassroots opportunities can be inspired by the Olympics and Paralympics … The addition of the new sessions for visually impaired and blind people will further increase the scope of the project and reach even more people locally. Launching this new session is a fantastic way to mark the 100 Day Countdown to the Paralympic Games and to celebrate the success of the program to date.”
For more information on the 2012 Paralympic Games, visit http://www.london2012.com/paralympics/