Clubs and football providers can now apply to become part of FA Comets. Comets is The FA’s brand-new pan-disability programme to support more disabled children play football.
What is the Comets Disability Football Programme?
Comets is a recreational, pan-disability football offer for disabled children aged 5-11. The programme is focused on helping disabled children have fun, whilst building confidence, independence and social relationships. Comets provides an environment in which participants can feel safe and belong. All sessions are delivered by FA qualified coaches, who have received specific programme training and guidance to provide a safe place for disabled children to try football for the first time and develop key skills.
See Comets in action on YouTube here!
Why have we created Comets Disability Football?
There is a lack of opportunity and a gap in the pathway for disabled players of this age, especially in a recreational environment. Comets will help give more clubs the confidence to engage and support disabled players with a fun introduction to football, helping grow this pathway.
What is pan-disability?
Pan-disability is the largest format of disability football, which sees players with a broad range of impairments and health conditions play together. Although this a pan-disability programme, there may be opportunities to utilise it in an impairment-specific environment, which sees players with the same impairment play together.
Who can apply and how?
We would like to engage grassroots clubs who want to start, or grow, their club’s disability pathway, to help support the growth of disability football across the club network. We would also be happy to explore organisations who have expertise in disability and are interested in engaging their members in football. Providers must complete the application form and meet all required criteria to be considered.
The application form can be found here.
Comets is a unique programme that has been developed to appeal to disabled children aged 5-11. The expectation is that providers will differentiate children into appropriate age groups to ensure sessions are safe. For example, we would not expect a 5 or 6 year old to be grouped to play with an 11 year old. Sessions must take place within community hours, to allow accessibility for all. Either during the evening 4pm onwards or on the weekend.
• The programme must be delivered with the intention of it becoming an established and embedded offer within your football provision.
• Staffing ratios must be appropriate to the group size and players needs must be maintained (There must be a minimum of two DBS checked adults, with a clear role, available at all times.)
• To ensure everyone has the best experience possible, providers need to regularly talk to parents/carers. It’s important to understand what every player’s needs are and how best to support them.
• Parents and carers of the youngest participants (5-yearolds) MUST stay to meet their child’s toileting and intimate care needs. Parents and carers of older children are also encouraged to stay with their child during sessions as they know their child best of all.
• Providers must use the The FAs tech platform provided (Clubspark) to create sessions and take weekly attendance.
• As a deliverer of Comets, providers must adhere to the criteria set out in the applicant guidance document and the minimum requirements in the terms and conditions (see programme criteria section 3i).
What will providers receive?
- £500 grant. This is intended to support facility costs whilst establishing sessions. County FAs will distribute the grant to providers in one payment, following an approved application, completion of the Comets online training module and set up of sessions on Clubspark.
- On pitch game cards to help plan suitable sessions.
- Behaviour and emotional regulation support including flashcards and emotion cue cards.
- Marketing assets to help recruit players.
- Kit and equipment pack. This will include a variety of footballs and cones as well as bibs, a whiteboard and fidget bag. It will be distributed following an approved application, completion of the Comets online training module and set up of sessions on Clubspark.
- Training and Signposting. Providers will have access to the Comets online training module to support programme delivery and a Clubspark training session to aid the use of The FA platform, where you will create sessions and take attendance. Further learning is also available including the new Disability Training for Clubs and Introduction to Coaching Disabled Footballers course.
Please see the Comet’s section of the England Football Community Programmes Provider Guidance for full T&Cs.
Contact us via email@example.com if you have any questions about starting an FA Comets session.