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Preston North End launches scheme to get more disabled people into football

Posted on - 22nd January, 2020 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Deepdale, Ingol, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Preston North End, Sport, University
Alistair White (left) and Peter Mason (right) at last weeks launch of Every Player Counts
Alistair White (left) and Peter Mason at last week’s launch

Preston North End Community and Education Trust (PNECET) has launched its Every Player Counts programme in partnership with the Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre.

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Every Player Counts is an English Football League (EFL) initiative that aims to increase sports participation for all, by encouraging more disabled people to get involved in football. PNE is one of 28 EFL clubs running the programme.

PAN-disability sessions are taking place on Fridays from 7pm until 8pm at the club’s Community Training Centre in Ingol for those aged 16 and over.

The Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre runs a session on Fridays from 6pm until 7pm, and there is also a session for players aged four to 16 years old from 10am until 11am at the UCLan Sports Arena on a Saturday.

Men, women, boys and girls of all ages with disabilities are encouraged to attend, no matter their disability or their level of footballing ability.

Read More: Sporting Memories helping Preston people living with dementia and loneliness

Speaking at the launch of the adults’ session, PNECET Inclusion Coach Alistair White said: “The Every Player Counts programme is all about getting disabled players – whether with a visual impairment, a physical impairment or any learning difficulty – involved in football, giving them that opportunity whether it’s their first time playing, or playing competitively.”

Last weeks launch saw a great turn out for the Every Player Counts Campaign
Last week’s launch of the Every Player Counts Campaign saw many people of all ages join

Chairman of Sir Tom Finney Soccer Centre Peter Mason added: “There are the obvious links between the Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre and Preston North End because of our name, however to be working in partnership with the town’s professional club, Preston North End, is a big lift for the coaches and players.”

The partnership will also form a pathway for people to play competitive football through the Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre’s adult and young PAN-disability teams that compete in the Lancashire FA Ability Counts League.

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Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre’s Lead Disability Coach Faisal Member also spoke of the social importance of PNECET’s involvement in the sessions.

He saidL “Most of our players are massive PNE fans, so having that association with the club that they love – with their heroes that they go and see on a Saturday – it’s going to be massive for them.”

For more information on Every Player Counts, contact Alistair White on alistair.white@pne.com or 01772 693309.

What do you think of the Every Player Counts initiative? Let us know in the comments.

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