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Charity delivers widest range of para sports in its history

More than 250 people from across Devon are benefitting from a range of para sports activities designed to cater for participants with mental and physical disabilities.

The sessions are delivered by Exeter City Community Trust, the partner charity of Exeter City Football Club. It is the widest range of para sports activities the charity has delivered since it was established more than 25 years ago.

And to celebrate the EFL Week of Action, which takes place from November 5-11, the para sports sessions were delivered at Exeter City’s training ground, with the teams put through their drills by Exeter City first team assistant manager Kevin Nicholson.

The EFL Week of Action sees Clubs and their community organisations from across the EFL’s three divisions showcase the impact of community projects with managers and players joining participants across the country.

Danny Harris, head of wellbeing and inclusion at Exeter City Community Trust (ECCT), said: “As a charity we are committed to inclusivity and working to benefit the lives of people in our city. We strive to ensure we can support as many people as possible.

“We have developed a wide range of exciting and accessible parasport activities. We have as many as 250 people of all ages taking part in our para sports programmes. As well as providing the opportunity to be active, the sessions are also great for meeting new people, making friends and for mental health support.”

He added: “At Exeter City Community Trust we want everybody to know that it is possible to still take part in competitive sport, regardless of their ability level. Watching our team members overcome their fears and anxieties and learning to not just take part but to fall in love with sport and to succeed, that’s enough to keep us going and want to do even more.”

Dan Hewitt, para sports lead at ECCT, is instrumental in developing and delivering these sessions. He is supported by a team of eight volunteers, including Alonzo Marshall, who recently won the Devon FA coach of the year award for his work with our para sports programme.

Sessions include:

  • Adult and Youth Disability Football
  • Down’s Syndrome Youth Football 
  • Football sessions for blind players
  • PL Kicks Disability Youth Football
  • Football sessions for Deaf players
  • Neuro Walking Adult football (Parkinson’s and Dementia)
  • Opportunity Club (mental health)

The scheme is funded through the Premier League Charitable Fund and several other partnerships which are made up of the Sports Foundation, Adam Stansfield Foundation, Logiq Consulting, Pro Direct Soccer and UK Deaf Sport. It also offers afterschool and holiday clubs for children and young people with disabilities during school holidays.

For more information about parasports sessions, which take place at a variety of locations, including Exwick Sports Hub, Wonford Sports Centre and the Cliff Hill Training ground, visit www.exetercct.org/programmes/parasport/ or email [email protected]