Building life skills through football

THE Albion Foundation held their second SEN Football Tournament this year, to give children with special educational needs the chance to build life skills through football.

The five-a-side tournament was designed to help the children build an array of skills that they may not be able to learn in a classroom.

"It has been a really really good experience and I have been really excited to come here all day," said Ryan Clarke, an 11 year old pupil from Moseley Park School.

"It is the best playing football in school time - we haven't had to do work, we have just played football all day!"

Boys and girls from Years 7, 8 and 9 took part in the tournament, with 13 teams from eight schools entering the competition.

"Meeting new people, or even seeing new people is good for the children," said Conor Brogan, a Disability Coach at The Albion Foundation.

"Being outside of school at a social event and being involved in football helps them to recognise that there are disability opportunities in football out there.

"It is really good that we can put things like this on. It's great that children with disabilities aren't left out and they can join in with children that have similar disabilities as themselves."

The tournament was split in to two divisions to cater for higher ability players and players with less understanding or less mobility around the pitch.

"It is better than a day at school," said Rayne Peters, an 11 year old from The Streetly Academy.

"We are doing something that we really enjoy doing."

The event was supported by BT, who sponsor the Premier League, and they helped to ensure sure that the day ran smoothly.

"It has been really good. It feels really good helping people and getting involved, whilst meeting a lot of different people," said Andrew Garewal, who works for BT.

"We have learned a lot about The Albion Foundation today and we will take that back to work and try and get more involved."

To get involved with The Albion Foundation's next SEN tournament, please contact