The Football Association have launched an ambitious new three-year plan titled Football Your Way, aimed at developing disability football in England.
The new plan is the first of its kind and covers seven key areas, demonstrating our commitment to ensuring that as part of the equality, diversity and inclusion strategy, disabled people have the opportunity to engage and participate in football their way, from grassroots all the way to the elite end of the game. The plan comes under the umbrella of the broader equality, diversity and inclusion strategy, which is about creating A Game For All.
The launch of the three-year plan, from 2021-2024, outlines our intentions to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce from inside The FA and out, and from top to bottom, whilst also growing participation, increasing the number and quality of coaches, developing an inclusive and diverse talent pathway, increasing support for elite players and raising the profile of disability football at every level.
Football Your Way will allow us to create and sustain a culture across the sport where disabled people have access to all opportunities and feel they truly belong, both on and off the pitch.
“Football has an incredible power to bring people together, and we are determined that disabled people have equal access to opportunities so that everyone can be involved in the game they love. Our new plan for Disability Football, Football Your Way, will help create a sustainable culture that improves opportunities for disabled people, making the game fun and accessible, as well as providing world-class coaching. We are sending a clear message: if you have a disability there are opportunities for you to participate, whether that’s for fun or through pan disability or impairment specific football, to enjoy the game and reach your potential.” said Baroness Sue Campbell, our Director of Women’s Football.
“We want to inspire future generations by showcasing the many opportunities on and off the pitch available to disabled people, whether they want to work for our organisation, develop as elite players or coaches or just play the game for fun with friends. By working together as one united team with a common-purpose and vision, we can achieve this ambitious plan for the development of disability football and increased understanding and awareness across England.” said Edleen John, our International Relations, Corporate Affairs and Co-Partner for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Director.
The Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted on participation levels and this plan will help those affected by providing a platform to overcome setbacks and bring people back together.
Speaking on the impact of disability football is England international and Merseyside VIFC Blind footballer, Azeem Ameer, who said: “Being able to play football at a high level with other disabled players has been an amazing opportunity for me. Football has made a significant difference to my life and to the lives of those I play with at every level. I hope The FA’s new plan, Football Your Way, can help raise awareness of disability football and provide significant opportunities to inspire people to play the game, from kids who are giving it a go for the first time, to fellow internationals on the world stage.”