Tottenham Hotspur FITC has forged a partnership with a number of special schools for secondary aged pupils with physical disabilities and associated special needs. The objective is to develop and implement a more inclusive curriculum through increased access to and participation in football for the disabled. The initiative is delivered through FITC coaches attending PE lessons in which alternative and accessible football coaching drills and skills related games are developed.
With the support of Barclaycard Free Kicks, our coaches work with teachers and students to develop an alternative set of rules for football matches to ensure that disabled students can participate. The tailored rules were put into practice in a Disability Day during the summer involving 50 disabled students from schools in Haringey. The day was a huge success which allowed children with physical, learning and behavioural disabilities to compete together in a tournament not dissimilar to mainstream footballing events.
“We often find that including disabled students in mainstream activities that the attitudes of individuals are a big barrier. Attitude is really important and the coaches’ attitudes are positive and willing — and it’s not just one of them — it’s all of them.”
Vale School teacher, Tony Millard.
In addition to coaching, the FITC scheme recognises the importance of the students gaining exposure to life in the local community through participating in a match-day experience. The sharing of a common interest in physical activity can often be the first point of contact between able-bodied and disabled people and, where possible, the FITC Scheme create opportunities to experience the spectator element of the game.