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Fifty have fun at Primary Disability Football Festival 2 December 2011

Around 50 children with various disabilities enjoyed the annual Disability Football Festival for all primary special educational needs (SEN) units held earlier this week.

Ballacottier Primary School team at the Primary Disability FThe children from six primary schools were put through their paces in the National Sports Centre main sports hall on November 29, competing against other schools in four-aside mini matches and various football activities such as penalty shootouts, time trial dribbling and time trial shooting.

The festival followed a series of weekly football training sessions delivered to all primary SEN units on the Island by the Department of Community, Culture and Leisure’s Sports Development Unit in conjunction with the IoM Football Association. Barclays Wealth supports the training programme, football festival and purchase of specialist equipment.

Disability Sports Development Officer Zoe Carney explained:

‘The Primary Disability Football Festival was a great success. We had participants from Reception to Year 6, aged four to 11, and, thanks to the generous support of Barclays Wealth, we were able to provide a fully inclusive environment that enabled all the children to participate in the activities and to play teams from other schools. It was great fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it.’

All participants received certificates and medals for their achievements at the football festival.

The Sports Development Unit, supported by Barclays Wealth, is continually working to develop and increase the number of sporting opportunities available for all children with disabilities across the Island.

Disability Football is now part of the yearly Disability Sports Programme that is being rolled out to all primary and secondary SEN Units across the Island.

From January 2012, primary school children will also have the opportunity to learn the basic skills and techniques of kwik cricket, facilitated by the Sports Development Unit in conjunction with the Isle of Man Cricket Association, again supported by Barclays Wealth.

This will be in preparation for the Kwik Cricket Festival which is due to take place in February.

For more information on any of the sessions noted, please contact Zoe Carney - Disability Sports Development Officer: Telephone 688575 or via email.

Photo caption: Ballacottier primary School receive their medals after competing in the Primary Disability Football Festival at the NSC

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