BT/PL Disability Activation Day

The Crystal Palace FC Foundation hosted our partners from BT and the Premier league at the Palace V Liverpool Premier League match at Selhurst Park Stadium last Saturday. This was to highlight the great new BT and Premier League joint 3 year initiative aimed at inspiring disabled people through sport.

The Foundation invited players from its Down’s Syndrome and Adult Learning Disabilities Teams, along with local children from SEND school St Nicholas and members of the Vision Impaired sessions we run in partnership with the Royal London Society for the Blind.

Also present was Matt Sharp from the Crystal Palace Powerchair Football Club. Matt was the focal point of a video that BT produced to capture the impact this new funding will have on the actual lives of those it will touch. Powerchair football is a very expensive sport to play, with specialised chairs costing in the region of £6000 each, so without this funding the team would not have been able to continue.

To see the video featuring Matt and Crystal Palace players Wilf Zaha, Jason Puncheon and Julian Speroni please go to http://www.cpfc.co.uk/news/article/2016-17/cpfc-foundation-feature-in-bt-feature-3395033.aspx

All of our guests came to the Selhurst Park pre-match Fanzone where we ran Fastest Shot and Footpool activities for all fans attending the game. This was a great way to start the day, with all our Disability groups joining in with non-disabled supporters from Palace and Liverpool FC.

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Also on hand in the Fanzone was Jake Humphrey from BT Sport. Jake made a special trip down to meet Matt Sharp and his mother Christine to find out a little bit more about how Matts, and Matt’s family’s, life has changed since he began coming to our weekly Powerchair Football sessions. Jake is seen here with Matt, Christine and the Foundations Disability Manager Michael Harrington and Sports Development Director Gary Mulcahey.

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At half time there was even more reason for us to get excited. Charlie Cribbin from St Nicholas School in Purley was selected to take part in the half time penalty shoot-out, and he slotted his shot comfortably home at the Whitehorse Lane End. Charlie celebrated like we all would do scoring at Selhurst Park! Meanwhile whilst that was happening our Downs Syndrome Football team, the DS Eagles, were receiving a truly heart-warming standing ovation from all four stands as they took to the pitch for their lap of appreciation. A massive thank you goes out to all our supporters, and those who had travelled down from Liverpool, for giving these young people a truly memorable occasion they and their families will never forget.

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All in all it was a great day had by all, and once again our thanks go out to BT and the Premier League for supporting the vital work that the Foundation does across our entire Community.

For more information on any of the Disability Programs we deliver then please contact Michael Harrington at michaelharrington@cpfcfoundation.org or call the Foundation offices on 020 8768 6047