Foundation Programme helps change lives
A specialist programme run by the Leeds United Foundation is helping to change the lives of both children and adults in the Leeds area through the delivery of tailored football coaching and support.
‘Ability Counts’ specialises in providing football training and games for those living with a disability.
The sessions, held at various venues around Leeds, are provided for players from junior to adult level and participants currently range in ages from 4-56. The programme accommodates for a full spectrum of disabilities and works with participants to ensure everyone is given the support they need.
The Foundation introduced the Ability Counts programme more than 10 years ago and has since become a leading provision for disability football in the UK and helped transform the lives of more than 25,000 players.
Ability Counts player, 13-year-old Spencer Kelly lives with ‘Leber Congenital Amaurosis’ – an eye disorder that primarily affects the retina. The youngster also has a condition of involuntary (or voluntary in rare cases) eye movement which starts in infancy or later in life, that may result in reduced or limited vision.
Prior to starting at the Leeds United Foundation Spencer faced a series of challenges playing mainstream football including playing with a white football and being unaware of where the team was on the pitch.
However, now, after attending the Foundation sessions Spencer has not only built up his confidence, improved his playing ability and communications skills, he has successfully gained a place on the England disability training camp for six weeks.
Spencer's mum, Louise, said: “The Ability Counts sessions have been a real success for my son. Spencer has gained his confidence back and his love for playing football, this would not have happened without the Leeds United Foundation coaches believing in his ability.”
Anthony Hall, Disability Sports Officer, added: “I’m extremely proud of Spencer for making it to the next round of the Disability Player Development pathway. He has worked very hard in the training session and has taken on board what has been said to him on how he can improve himself as a player and also being a future England star”.
To find out more information on Junior and Adult Ability Counts sessions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0113 367 6118.