Local ‘Soccability’ is growing all the time according to Essex County FA Development Officer Cindi Chatha, who cites a new strategy as a further reason for the continual progression of disability football in the area in 2018/19.
The aim of Soccability is to provide coaching and competition tailored for disabled children and adults with wide-ranging football abilities. This includes a variety of training drills and specialist equipment for different disabilities. Cindi explained: “Soccability in Essex is in a great place and, as part of our overall Essex County FA Strategy, it will keep on growing.”
“There is now more of a focus on utilising all our initiatives, such as recreational football and SSE Wildcats, to grow disability football. There are also a number of FA Charter Standard mainstream clubs such as Wivenhoe Town and Great Danes who are catering for disability, and are offering a disability pathway under their club’s banner.”
To find out more about opportunities to join in with Soccability in Essex, please click here, follow @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and search for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.
Essex Soccability League
The Essex Soccability League is similar to every other mainstream league within Essex, though the competition caters for those with a disability or impairment. The Adult Section comprises of five divisions: Premiership, Championship (7v7), League One, League Two and Fun (5v5). The Youth Divisions are for Under 16s and 12s (both 5v5).
The league runs on a monthly basis from September to May, and new players and teams can take part in the next competition. There have been a number of changes for 2018/19, with the Youth Section assuming ownership and taking turns to host events, while the adults are now alternating venues between the PlayFootball centres in Southend and Colchester.
South-East Regional Disability 11v11 Final
The South-East Regional Disability 11v11 Final recently took place, with Essex involved in the build-up. The 11v11 competition is for counties’ disability leagues and, as disability football is mainly 7v7, this gives them an additional competition to compete with teams they don’t usually play against. Sides from as close as London and as far away as Hampshire took part.
Each County FA hosts an event, whether it’s a group stage, Quarter or Semi-Final/Final. Group stages were completed at the start of the season, with Essex hosting an event at PlayFootball Southend. The Quarter-Finals are usually completed by March, with the final in June this year. Reading beat the Sussex County FA in the final.
Healthy4Life Compete in Belfast
Essex Soccability League side Healthy4Life recently took part in the two-day George Best Community Cup in Belfast. They took a squad of seven for the 5v5 competition made up of players from the three Healthy4Life groups in Witham, Colchester and Clacton.
From a group of eleven teams, they got through to the Semi-Finals and came third. Medals were presented to the top three teams in all groups, and Healthy 4 Life players received theirs from Dame Mary Peters. This was the first overseas trip for Healthy4Life, and all the players were exceptional role models for the project.