Club News

Irvine lauds Foundation success

Head coach celebrates Foundation achievements

ALAN Irvine concluded a day of Albion success by joining Albion Foundation's Disability department celebrate a year of great success, on and off the pitch.

The Baggies head coach, having already watched the unveiling of the Tony Brown statue, stayed at The Hawthorns until late in the evening to attend the event.

Irvine was on hand to distribute awards to players - witnessing the work that the Foundation carries out on a daily basis.

The One Albion Project provides grass root opportunities in special schools and special educational needs units of mainstream schools for young people with disabilities and learning difficulties.

The youngsters then progress to a series of development centres covering a range of disabilities and then potentially progressing to the Sporting Club Albion teams. This offers an opportunity for the players to compete at a regional, national and international level.

They currently run five Powerchair teams, a visually impaired team, blind football team, four pan-senior teams, a pan-girls team, a pan-junior team and a Down Syndrome team.

Alan Irvine said: "I had a brilliant day. In the afternoon I was inspired by the Bomber Brown event but not as much as I was inspired by what I saw last night. 

"I am in awe at what the players and coaches have achieved. The Foundation does some amazing work and you should all be very proud."

Awards were presented to nominated individuals and teams, with the evening culminating in two special awards: the Outstanding Contribution Award, presented to Martyne and Karen Mayne; and Outstanding Dedication award presented to Ben O’Brien who has been selected to represent GB Special Olympics in basketball so will travel to the USA to compete in the World Games.

In front of an audience of more than 200 people Chris Gordon, Sporting Club Albion Powerchair captain spoke about his journey through Sporting Club Albion. Chris has achieved tremendous sporting success in Powerchair Football, receiving an England cap with three other members of the team. 

Rob Lake, Foundation Director: "This really is one of the highlights of the year for the Foundation. It was a lovely event made even more special for everyone with Alan taking time out to support the event. Our disability programme is superb and I can’t thank the staff, volunteers, players and parents enough for their wonderful efforts."