“Every individual should have the opportunity to access football,” says Essex County FA Development Officer, Cindi Chatha, who’s highlighted local Schools and Colleges Soccability Events as a means of providing an environment which suits individuals’ needs.
We deliver regular events countywide having recognised that not all young people enjoy the chance to participate in football, especially within their school or college. As part of our 2018-21 ‘Moving Forward’ Strategy for grassroots football, a range of fun events are organised in Essex, with access to a structured talent pathway if desired.
The schools events cater for individuals with a disability or impairment aged 8-16 years, while colleges also provide opportunities for those aged 16+. Running alongside these, regular Soccability Festivals enable young people to learn new skills and play small-sided games in a fun and safe environment.
For development purposes, Essex is divided into four regional groups and four schools events take place in each area every year. These are at the Discovery Centre (Braintree), Shenfield High School (Brentwood), Cedar Hall School (Benfleet) and PlayFootball Romford. There are also college events at PlayFootball, with establishments from around the county invited to attend.
Cindi, who has a specific focus on inclusion in grassroots Essex football, explained: “As a County, we feel it is important to ensure that every individual has the opportunity to access football in an environment which suits their needs.”
“Many of the young people attending these sessions have never played football, so these events can be their first step. We also ensure they are aware of local opportunities available to them which cater for their abilities and needs, enabling them to have regular access to football both in and outside of school or college.”
If you’d like to find out more about taking part in school or college Soccability events, contact Cindi via (01245) 393090 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Information is also shared by @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and on the ‘EssexFootball’ Facebook page.