Northumberland FA

New inclusion hubs make football accessible for more people

Four hubs have been developed to give people with disabilities the opportunity to take part

We're delighted to welcome Blyth Spartans, Wallsend B.C. and Whitley Bay FC Juniors in joining Cramlington United as Inclusion Hub sites for the 2022/23 season. After the successful pilot of the Inclusion Hub, a turn up and play event for Special Educational Need (SEND) Children, at Cramlington, Northumberland FA have increased the total number of locations to four.

 Before the Inclusion Hubs were created there was no youth provision in our community clubs across the county. Over the last 12 months Cramlington United’s hub has been at full capacity with 20 children attending the sessions. This has shown us there is a need to grow sustainable youth disability football in the county and we’ve taken the first step to eventually become strong enough to form teams and a league alongside mainstream provisions.

This is an exciting time for Northumberland FA and our community clubs involved, as it’s something new that has not been done before. We’ll work together as clubs, coaches and a County FA as we help grow the game of disability football.  

Northumberland FA will be working with the clubs involved to upskill the coaches and help them gain confidence and experience working with disability football, and help highlight the Coaching Pathway that is available.

 Football Development Officer Chris Kilburn said: "I'd like to thank everyone that applied or showed interest in the Inclusion Hubs. Being able to visit the clubs and talk to the people involved has shown there is a real community desire driving the decision making, which is exactly what we’re looking for. The shared belief that every child should have access to football is what inclusion is all about.

"I’d also like to thank Northumberland Football Leagues who operate the Open-Age Participation League, the work Newcastle United Foundation continue to do with disability-specific teams in the county and Northern Thunder our Power Wheelchair Community Club." 

Details of sessions will be available soon.

For more information on disability football, or if you’d like to get involved, contact Chris Kilburn  or 07458 043 681)