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Community

Community: Inspiring Disabled People Through Sport

26 November 2016

Burnley FC in the Community, the Premier League and BT Sport have partnered up to inspire disabled people through sport.  

This joining of forces will see Burnley FC’s official charity implement the Premier League and BT Sport’s disability initiative; an initiative that will see funding for disability sport triple at Burnley FC in the Community over the next three years.

A long time in the planning, the partnership is officially launched at the Burnley V Manchester City fixture at Turf Moor on Saturday, 26th November, with a feature of the work broadcast on the BT Sport Score show (the feature can also be viewed below) and as part of the club’s Celebrating Inclusion Day activities.



The BT Sport piece centres around young disabled Burnley FC fan, Joe Skinner, who has been a part of Burnley FC in the Community’s disability sport provision since its inception two and a half years ago.



Joe, who has Cerebral Palsy, is a wheelchair user and is someone who has used the power of football, via Community, to drive both his personal and professional life.

Joe has become a successful volunteer coach at Turf Moor and is now an influential figure in Burnley FC’s Disabled Supporters’ Group.  

Initially founded and part-funded by former Burnley FC striker, Danny Ings, the Danny Ings Disability Sport Project was developed with the specific aim to engage and empower members of the communities surrounding Turf Moor who have a disability.



The project now engages with up to 800 disabled people every week and has already benefitted from boosts in funding from local business Capll Ltd and through Children in Need.

This new link up with the Premier League and BT Sport will see staff at Burnley FC in the Community given the vital tools needed to develop this offer even further, and to grow the outreach of the programme to unprecedented levels across East Lancashire.

As well as the existing provision provided, disability sport at Burnley FC in the Community will develop to incorporate:

• Pan-disability sport sessions
• Impairment-specific sports sessions at a recreational level (sessions for those with visual impairments, wheelchair users, those with Downs Syndrome, participants with learning difficulties and amputees)
• Impairment specific competitive squads (again for those with visual impairments, wheelchair users, those with Downs Syndrome, participants with learning difficulties and amputees)
• Burnley Disability FC
• A dance centre for people with disabilities
• Disability awareness in mainstream primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and universities
• Inclusive sport sessions in mainstream schools for participants both with disabilities and without a disability
• A renewed focus on disability liaison and accessible stadia

Matt Pounder, Head of Sport at Burnley FC in the Community, believes this funding will propel Burnley FC in the Community to one of the leading providers of disability sport provision in the region.



“This funding will allow us to implement real change in our communities. Not only for disabled people but for everyone, as it will also allow us the opportunity to promote disability awareness and the key ideas of tolerance and understanding. Our ultimate aim is to achieve complete inclusivity across every area of our work and also here at the Turf Moor stadium.”

Burnley FC in the Community would like to thank the Premier League and BT Sport for bringing these fantastic opportunities to disabled people in Burnley and the surrounding areas. The charity would also like to thank Danny Ings for his unwavering support and finally, to Joe Skinner, for his endless enthusiasm for Community and for telling his inspirational story.

To find out more about disability sport at Burnley FC in the Community, contact Matt Pounder at m.pounder@burnleyfc.com or call 01282 704716.


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