A spotlight on Para football at SGP on International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Friday 02 Dec 2022
The England Women's Deaf Squad enjoyed a training camp at St George's Park earlier this year
Partner Message SGP Homepage A 300x250

With the United Nations (UN) International Day of Persons with Disabilities taking place on Saturday 3 December, we’re shining the spotlight on the FA’s strategy for disability football and the various Para football teams we host here at St. George’s Park.

Launched in October 2021, the landmark disability ‘Football Your Way’ plan welcomed an increased commitment from the FA, aiming to raise the profile of disability football and change the perceptions and social barriers to support more disabled people to play football by 2024.

The objective of the plan is to increase participation by 50% by June 2024, by offering 2,800 opportunities to play for disabled people of all ages across all disability football formats. The figures are currently on target with 2,107 opportunities, marking a 13% increase.

Another goal of the FA’s strategy is to provide world-class coaching and support services for England’s Para teams. In line with this, St George’s Park hosted over 20 England senior para camps throughout the 2021/22 season. The home of England Football also proudly supported the formation of the new England Women’s Blind team in May 2022, which saw the number of national Para teams increased to seven with more to come. 

The video below highlights exactly what St. George’s Park means to England’s Para Teams:

Women’s Deaf Team player, Clair Stancliffe, said: “To train at St. George's Park is a massive honour and I just think that I’m playing on the same pitches as the senior teams, it just feels a bit surreal whenever I’m here.”

John McDougall, Men’s Partially Sighted Futsal Team player, continued: “Being able to train at St. George's Park is brilliant. It’s always nice to come, it’s a brilliant venue. Being around other England teams, other Para squads, the men’s and women’s teams…it’s brilliant and it’s a touch.”

Men’s Deaf Team player, Joe Dixon, added: “To train and play at St. George's Park is the biggest thing we can have as players; to have the best facilities in the country, to be treated like real top professionals. It allows us to learn more, train more, and get better as players and as a team, ready for our competitions in the future.”

Find out more about the FA’s gameplan for Disability Football here.

By FA Staff