On Sunday 20th July 2016 Blackpool FC Community Trust ‘Pan-Ability’ side took part in the Special Olympics Football Tournament at Harrogate. The BFCCT currently deliver many disability programmes, which the ‘pan ability’ teams are one of.
This was the final competition of the season for our very successful Pan Ability team who had previously collected an astonishing 7 trophies so far in the 2015/16 season. All of the participants who play for the team have various disabilities such as Deaf, Cerebral Palsy, MLD and SLD.
There were two teams in action from BFC-CT, the 5-aside team that consisted of the teams’ younger players and the 7-aside team that the older and more experienced players participated in.
The 5’s team arrived raring to go and played their first fixture vs Midtown, which they drew 1-1. The 7’s team started excellently with back-to-back victories, winning 1-0 and 4-1.
The 7’s team then faced tough competition through local rivals Walton Sports Disability but seen them off with an impressive 1-0 victory in a fiercely contested fixture. Meanwhile the 5’s team were also going well. After losing their second fixture 3-1, they got the better of local side Bolton Wanderers.
The 5’s team went into their final 3 games in a tough position having to win all 3 and hoping other results went their way but it wasn’t to be for the young men who came away with another win and 2 losses but held their heads high with some fantastic play, conduct and sportsmanship.
The 7-aside team were sitting at the top of the group entering their final match against another local team in the form of Blackburn side Mill Hill Reds, who BFC-CT previously defeated for the Lancashire FA Ability Counts League. The match was played in great spirit with both teams going for the win but the game finished 0-0 which was enough to see the Seasiders win the most prestigious trophy at the Harrogate competition.
Owen Coyle (BFCCT Inclusion Officer) said; ‘This was a fitting way to end the season, on another high as all of our Pan Ability teams this season have done tremendously well. We are continually growing our disability programme and hope to have more pan ability and impairment specific teams out on the field in the near future’.
A wonderful outcome to round up the Pan Ability season, well done to all the participants who have been committed and worked hard this season.