Premier League Disability Football Festivals to Champion Inclusion

Young people representing Sheffield United are taking partin the 14-16-year-old-mixed tournament at this year’s Premier League Disability Football Festivals.

More than 450 participants representing more than 50 professional football clubs are coming together at one of three festivals, hosted by Wolverhampton Wanderers, Middlesborough and Chelsea this summer, to celebrate the Premier League’s year-round commitment to providing access to football for all.

The pan-disability football festivals,delivered by club charities in partnership with the Premier League Charitable Fund, aim to create opportunities for players to develop their skills and confidence in a supportive environment, catering for the needs of people who are neurodivergent and those who have sensory or physical disabilities.

Premier League Director of Community, Nick Perchard, said: “This year’s Premier League Disability Football Festivals, delivered in partnership with professional football club community organisations, offer a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the importance of football for everyone.

“The festivals offer young people the opportunity to develop their technical ability and bring physical and social benefits, as players come together with young people from other clubs across England and Wales. Days like today help to remove barriers to participation and raise aspirations across the game.”

Employability Coordinator at Sheffield United Community Foundation, Brad Fox, said: “We’re really excited to take our football team from Springs Academy to the Premier League Disability Football Festival in Middlesbrough. The students are so proud to represent Sheffield United and they’re buzzing with excitement for it. It’s an amazing opportunity for them to show off their skills and sportsmanship. This trip is all about having fun, celebrating inclusion, and playing as a team.”

The Premier League Disability Football Festivals are a celebration of how the Premier League’s community programmes – Premier League Kicks, Premier League Inspires and Premier League Primary Stars – connect young people aged from five to 18 with football, providing positive opportunities to help them reach their potential.

This year’s Premier League Disability Football Festivals will see young people take part in a series of six-a-side games, activities and workshops. This builds on the success of last season’s festivals, which saw more than 450 young people representing 50 professional football club charities take part.

In addition to a series of tournament games, players will have the opportunity to participate in a range of additional activities across the three events, including football darts and basketball sessions, with workshops to support environmental sustainability and participants mental health and resilience also available at each event.

More than 20,000 participants who reported having a disability took part in Premier League programmes funded through the Premier League Charitable Fund in Season 2022/23, up 35 per cent on Season 2021/22.

To find out more about the Premier League’s inclusive community activities, please visit premierleague.com.