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*New initiatives for Community scheme

Posted on 13 February 2004  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

The continued success of the Tottenham Hotspur Community Scheme has enabled the programme to develop and focus on initiatives even further.

Tottenham Hotspur Community has recently recruited James Isaac as the Disability Co-ordinator for the Scheme.

One of the main aims is to provide children and adults with disabilities more opportunities to participate in football. Specially trained coaches providing training sessions for both disability schools and mainstream schools will help achieve this.

Specific disability tournaments throughout the summer will also be organised providing people who have disabilities more opportunities to take part in competitive competitions. There will then be an opening to identify talented players providing them with the opportunity to play football at higher levels.

James is one of the main driving forces in developing a range of specific games of football for people who use manual and powered wheelchairs. James is currently working towards providing training opportunities for this new and exciting game.

Wheelchair football is a very new sporting initiative brought to this country by the Japan Electric Wheelchair Soccer Association in October 2001. James was invited to travel to Japan. Here he learnt about the structure of the sport and was given the task of organising a team to participate in five exhibition matches. Since then James has been travelling the UK providing training and advice for coaches and participants.

Along with running football clubs for boys and girls who are Visually Impaired or blind and also developing a football club for adults who are Deaf/Hearing Impaired; who will be trained by spurs coaches, continuing the progression of wheelchair football in the UK is one of the main focus of the role of our Disability Co-ordinator.

Wheelchair Football is played with a size 9, 50cm diameter football on an indoor sports hall, using the same court markings as a standard basketball court. There are four players on each team and there are no official goalkeepers. The duration of the game is 20 minutes for each half. Individual players attach a protective standard size half tyre bumper to the front of their Wheelchair.

The main objective of the game is for the players to skilfully move the ball over the opponent's team goal line by using their font bumper to help them achieve this. There are three alternative versions of the sport, which are powered, manual and dual wheelchair football. Rules and regulations can be altered depending on the specifications of the individual players.

As the Tottenham Hotspur Community Disability Co-ordinator, James is committed to the development of wheelchair football.

"I'm aiming to encourage football in the community schemes, organisations, schools and football coaches to support and help in the development of wheelchair football at grass roots level," explained James. Our Scheme is looking to train coaches through an accredited course. In turn this will increase the amount of specially trained coaches able to provide and run training sessions. The plans are to make Wheelchair football accessible to the whole of the UK"

Tottenham Hotspur Community Officer Steve Grenfell is looking forward to the progression of these disability projects. "The scheme is very excited about the development of our disability programme," added Steve. "With James' expertise Tottenham Hotspur Community looks forward to insuring the successful implementation of these projects, increasing the participation within our Community Scheme"

For more information regarding Tottenham Hotspur Disability Programme please contact James Issac on 0208 3655028 or email james.issac@spurs.co.uk