As part of Northumberland FA’s 100% Inclusive promise, we believe it’s important that everyone who wants to be involved in football has the chance to be involved, we will do this by increasing the number of opportunities for people with a disability to be involved.
In 21/22 season the first Northumberland FA Inclusion Hub was established at Cramlington United Juniors, with the support of Active Northumberland. The NFA Inclusion Hub created a pan-disability recreational turn up and play session for u12s. It also provided a place for two players from Cramlington’s open-age disability team to begin their coaching career. By the end of the season Cramlington United Juniors had registered the County’s first junior grassroots disability team.
During 22/23 season two more NFA Inclusion Hubs began in Blyth Spartans and Wallsend BC, with Forest Hall Juniors piloting the FA’s Comets program.
Northumberland FA’s long-term ambition is to create a disability pathway at all 2* and 3* England Accredited Clubs using the NFA Inclusion Hubs, to develop a youth disability league which will help grow and sustain the Northumberland Football League’s current mixed open-age Participation League.
To do this we will provide support for:
- Development visits to help community clubs begin their disability football pathway
- Help design an inclusion policy for the club handbooks
- Support visits from our Disability Ambassador who will help clubs with their disability checklist and toolkit
- Support the mental health and wellbeing of everyone involved within our grassroots game
- Disability CPD events throughout the season to support coaches
- Help underrepresented groups access fully funded places on the Introduction to Coaching Football
- Support visits from The FA’s Mentor (Disability)
- Help find your child a suitable club to join
- Creating a junior pathway for u12s (7-11) and u16s (12-15)
- Help players find a team and feel part of the club
- Host an annual disability festival
- Signpost eligible players to regional England Talent Days and Hub
- Support Northumberland Football League’s Participation League, which is the county’s mixed, open-age (16+) pan-disability league
- Raise awareness of Referee Disability Pathway
- Provide CPD for the Disability Welfare Officer to help understand reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities
- Share and update on best practices within community clubs
- Host an annual SEN Festival
- Network schools with their local community club to support SEN children get into football
- England Football’s Get Involved: https://www.englandfootball.com/play/disability-football
- Introduction to Disability Football: https://learn.englandfootball.com/courses/disability
- Newcastle United Foundation Disability Calendar: https://www.nufoundation.org.uk/get-involved/disability-sessions