Over 40 children and adults with Down’s Syndrome joined coaches and volunteers at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre.
Teams from clubs including Fulham and Queen’s Park Rangers were amongst those participating. The event was also open to people of all ages who have Down’s Syndrome, giving them the chance to try out playing football.
The day started with a warm-up session, giving everyone who attended the chance to learn and improve their football skills with support from AITC’s coaches.
Hosted by AITC, the event was run with support from the Down’s Syndrome Association and American Express, who provided 15 employees to volunteer throughout the day.
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Nicholas Freeman, a volunteer from American Express said, “Yesterday was an amazing experience and very rewarding. It was great to see both the kids and adults having such a good time playing sport in the fresh air.”
Paul Brackley, community manager from Albion in the Community said, “It’s been a fantastic event and exciting for us to see so many young people with Down’s Syndrome playing football and having fun. We know football is a great way to get active and meet new friends so I would encourage anyone with Down’s Syndrome in Sussex to come along to our new football sessions.”
Matt Maguire from the Down’s Syndrome Association said, “Opportunities such as today’s tournament, and the new regular football sessions in Sussex, are hugely important to the physical, emotional and social well-being of people with Down’s Syndrome. A study in 2010 showed that only 1.4 per cent of people with Down’s Syndrome were meeting recommended levels of physical activity, so we are delighted to be able to work with Albion in the Community to change that.”
Brighton & Hove Albion’s first team manager, Chris Hughton, presented the winners’ trophy to the team from Queen's Park Rangers Community Trust.
For more information on Down’s Syndrome football sessions in Sussex, contact Albion in the Community’s Paul Brackley: Paul.Brackley@albioninthecommunity.org.uk tel: 07880 195515