Keira's Story: Building Communication & Confidence

Meet Keira, she is a Blackpool FC season ticket holder super fan, who attends our Every Player Counts football session on a Tuesday, 5-6pm, funded by EFL Trust and Wembley National Stadium Trust.

Keira lives with AUTS2 syndrome, and she has been attending our sessions for nearly two years now. Over that time her communication and football skills have improved. We asked Keira if she enjoys the session and she said “yeah, playing football”.

We spoke to her mum who comes along to the sessions with Keira and asked what differences she has noticed since Keira has been attending.

She said, “Keira’s communication has definitely improved. She is more confident in speaking to the other participants. For example today she was telling the participants about how she is going to see Blackpool away, when they play Birmingham at the end of this month. When we first came to the sessions she would never have been confident enough to say that. It’s good to see. I think part of what has helped her express herself more is that she has made friends here who she is comfortable around”.

Paul, the Community Engagement Officer who delivers the session, said “It’s great having Keira come to the sessions. I’ve known her for quite a while as she used to come to a club I worked at as a rebound therapy coach.
Out of all the participants I work with, Keira is one of the most enthusiastic about Blackpool FC. All her family are season ticket holders and she loves seeing them play. She talks about Blackpool’s results and fixtures when I see her at the Tuesday session. Her mum and dad are a great support to Keira and bring her, week in, week out, to our football sessions. Her skills at football have improved greatly. We were practising a skill move the other day, the drag back turn, and Keira did it first time, something she would have found difficult when she first started.”

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