Disability Football


In February 2004 the Welsh Football Trust (then FAW Trust) appointed the first National Coordinator for Disability Football. With the backing of the Disability Sport Wales (DSW), the Trust identified the need for a National Coordinator to drive forward disability football in Wales and deliver a fully inclusive programme. In 2004 the picture looked somewhat different to today:

• Only 4 local disability football community clubs in Wales (all PAN no impairment specific)
• Pockets of activity in schools
• 1 annual national disability club football tournament
• No coach education programme
• No structured games programme for schools or clubs
• No player pathway
• Insufficient number of coaches and trained individuals

2005-2010 ‘Creating a Level Playing Field’

The first strategy for disability football was written in 2005 focusing on establishing a grassroots structure (‘Creating a Level Playing Field’).
Through implementation of the strategy the picture looked very different in 2010:

• 24 disability community clubs across Wales with 532 registered players
• 3 impairment specific playing opportunities
• 2 regional pan-disability festival leagues for clubs
• An annual national pan-disability club festival
• An annual national pan-disability schools competition, with 3 regional finals & a national school finals day
• Development of a disability coach education course
• All level 1 coach education resources converted to large print, audio CD & Braille
• Establishment of a National Disability Football Forum

2010 - 2014 ‘Taking Wales to the International Stage’

The proceeding strategy focused on putting in place a clear pathway for a minimum of two disability groups. At grassroots level, the aim was to increase the number of players, teams, coaches and disability specific opportunities. Some significant strides were made:
• There was a 42% increase in the number of players with a disability
• Three regional PAN disability Leagues are now in existence involving 30 clubs
• ‘FAW Coaching Deaf Footballers Course’ was created
• Two impairment national disability teams (learning disability & deaf) and three regional performance centres were established to further support talented players with a disability
• National Deaf Futsal Cup created

2015-2020 ‘Transforming Communities Through Football for All’

Building on the success of previous strategies over the course of the next five years our key targets include:

• Work towards achieving Disability Sport Wales ‘Insport’ Gold accreditation
• Promote performance programme to inspire potential players – impairment specific
• Develop national Cerebral Palsy programme including national team
• Expand impairment specific coach education training and mentoring programme
• 6% of disabled population registering and playing football regularly


“The Welsh Football Trust is pleased to confirm our involvement in Disability Sport Wales’s Insport initiative and is committed to achieving each of the four standards” Neil Ward, Chief Executive

The 'insport' project reflects Welsh Government’s desire to pursue the social model of disability through its ‘Creating An Active Wales’ plan as well as Sector vision to ‘unite a proud sporting nation’, where ‘every child is hooked on sport’. 'insport' is part of the process by which Disability Sport Wales will deliver its Mission: ‘Transforming the lives of disabled people through the power of sport’, and its visions to:
• ‘create a Nation of Disabled Champions’, and to have
• ‘every disabled person hooked on sport for life’

'Insport' has four progressive standards, designed to support three groups of partners; Welsh NGB’s, Clubs and Welsh Local Authorities. It is hoped that these standards will help them become more inclusive in their delivery, through quality assured process that check, challenge and develop each organisation’s approach to creating a single, integrated and inclusive sports system for Wales.

Post a comment:

Please feel free to leave a comment on this post, we require all posts to be screened before they are set live. We will send you a notification when your comment is approved.

Smithf890 - 4 years ago

I like what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and coverage! Keep up the very good works guys

Get Involved...

Are you looking to volunteer in Football in 2015


Our Partners