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Players from Albion in the Community’s (AITC) amputee and cerebral palsy football teams were at Wembley recently to help celebrate the launch of a £1.1 million project from the EFL Trust.

The Every Player Counts campaign aims at attracting attract almost 10,000 new participants into disability football and AITC was invited to the national stadium alongside a selection of community schemes from across the Football League.

Supporting the EFL Trust’s aim to increase sports participation...

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AITC players help launch new EFL Trust campaign

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Players from Albion in the Community’s (AITC) amputee and cerebral palsy football teams were at Wembley recently to help celebrate the launch of a £1.1 million project from the EFL Trust.

The Every Player Counts campaign aims at attracting attract almost 10,000 new participants into disability football and AITC was invited to the national stadium alongside a selection of community schemes from across the Football League.

Supporting the EFL Trust’s aim to increase sports participation for all, the project has been made possible thanks to funding from the Wembley National Stadium Trust (WNST). The donation represents WNST’s largest single donation to date and its first England-wide grants programme.

The Every Player Counts programme will cover a wide range of disabilities with the simple aim of getting more people involved in sport and 25 EFL clubs will be involved in running programmes that are tailored to the specific needs of their local community. Although individual programmes will differ from club to club, the emphasis will always be on increasing participation, improving health and championing the social benefits of taking part in football.

AITC, for example, will receive around £56,000 in funding which will be spent on the charity’s amputee and cerebral palsy football programme as well as new regular sessions for people with autism or dyspraxia.

Former England and Leeds United defender Danny Mills and Paralympian Jack Rutter were among those at Wembley Stadium for the launch of Every Player Counts, which aims to create 31 new teams and engage 3,000 new participants nationwide in the first year alone.

They were joined by Paul Brackley, AITC’s disability manager, who was full of praise for the EFL Trust and the WNST. He said: “The Every Player Counts campaign is a fantastic initiative and we are delighted to be involved.

“At AITC we run around 35 regular football sessions for people with a disability and the funding and support we will now receive through this campaign will allow us to further expand our provision, meaning more people can play the sport they love.”

Mike Evans, EFL Trust director of operations, said: “The 72 EFL community trusts do lots of great work to get people involved in sport regardless of their background or abilities. The new partnership with Wembley National Stadium Trust will enable us to widen the reach of our network even further and use the power of football to make a real difference to people’s lives.”

For more information on AITC’s disability football sessions, email: disability@albioninthecommunity.org.uk.

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