Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and the FA have come together to deliver a project aimed at giving the country’s top football players with Cerebral Palsy the best possible opportunity of success ahead of the London 2012 Paralympics.
Steven Pienaar and Heurelho Gomes helped launch this exciting new initiative at the Club’s Spurs Lodge training ground on Friday, alongside members of the England CP national football squad.
England Ready will see the England CP squad given access to elite level coaching sessions held at the Lodge, before many of the players go on to represent Great Britain in 2012.
Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s reputation within the field of disability sports provision led the FA to approach them to work in partnership to deliver England Ready.
The Foundation’s unique link to the Tottenham Hotspur Academy will enable the elite level coaching to take place with the squad on a fortnightly basis.
Pathways for young CP football players from Tottenham Hotspur’s local area to represent their country will also be provided through a Football and Education Development Centre the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation runs in partnership with Southgate College, Enfield.
The launch of England Ready also aims to raise awareness of the England CP squad, and players can get involved in the scheme’s talent identification process by contacting their local County FA.
Donna-Maria Cullen, Executive Director, Tottenham Hotspur, and Trustee, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said:
“It’s fantastic to be hosting and funding this training for the team ahead of the 2012 Paralympics. It’s one of the many ways our Foundation, the largest in the Premier League, delivers sport and community programmes throughout several boroughs in London.
“As part of our Olympic Stadium site bid submission, we have guaranteed significant funding for a substantial level of community, employment and multi-sport programmes that would make best use of the stadium facilities, the public realm, park and also deliver outreach programmes, working with the councils of the five Olympic Boroughs. We have committed to finance these activities in order to ensure they happen and are delivered as part of the legacy for East London for years to come.”
Steven Pienaar said:
“I’ve been really impressed with how much time and effort the Club and the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation put into their community and wider sport activities. The players here today are getting access to Premier League facilities and that can only be beneficial for their preparations ahead of the 2012 games.”