Wilnecote Unicorns Disability Football Club is thrilled after receiving a brand new kit for its junior team from Tamworth’s fund-raising group Simon’s Heroes.
Wilnecote Unicorns is a football club catering for a range of ages and disabilities. The club was originally born from a project started through Staffordshire FA Disabled Footballers Development Fund (DFDF) in 2013, whose aim is to encourage participation in the sport amongst those with learning and physical disabilities. Staffordshire FA provided a 10 week block of free coaching at Wilnecote Leisure Centre on Tuesday evenings, which were delivered by Zak Oliver, an Academy football and Birmingham County FA Centre of excellence disability coach.
Following the course’s completion, Zak Oliver and fellow coach, David Illife continued the work that Staffordshire FA had started, establishing the sessions as a permanent fixture on the Centre’s timetable.
As the sessions grew in popularity, Staffordshire FA encouraged the group to become an affiliated football club so that they could play in sanctioned competitions, and as a result, Wilnecote Unicorns Disability FC was formed. The club also secured 3 years funding through the Football Foundation which helps to cover overhead costs including Continuous Professional Development for the coaches to maintain the high standard of training.
Today the club has some 30 plus members with a strong leadership team of volunteers who dedicate their time to the cause, comprising Zak, Head Coach and Company Secretary, David, Club Chairman and Manager and Leisure Centre Manager Michael Stevenson, Club Treasurer and Founder. The committee all share the same aspiration; to increase participation in, and awareness of, disability football and make the club as inclusive as possible.
Wilnecote Unicorns have two open aged teams who have already competed in several games in Staffordshire FA’s Ability Counts League, against clubs including Stoke City and Stafford Town. They hope to enter a junior team next season too.
The Unicorn’s success has increased participation numbers two-fold which has resulted in an extra hour being added to Tuesday’s training, facilitating a junior and advanced session.
Thanks to the support of the Football Foundation and a parent’s generosity, the Unicorn’s have been able to purchase kits for their teams competing in the Ability Counts League. Further funding was required to equip the junior team to enable them to enter future competitions.
“The kit provided by Simon’s Heroes will help establish the Unicorn’s junior team and go a long way towards supporting the club’s progress. The players will be able to compete in junior competitions and hopefully in competitive league football. We cannot thank Simon’s Heroes enough.”
Michael Stevenson, Club Treasurer and Founder.
To find out more about Wilnecote Unicorn’s Disability Football Club contact Mike Stevenson on 01827 831 333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org