Oakland Foundation Sponsors YMCA Redditch Disability Football Team

The YMCA Redditch Disability Football team is currently enjoying a third season playing for the region in the Birmingham Ability Counts League Midlands, and by securing additional support at grassroots level, they are all now playing in kit sponsored and paid for by local charity, The Oakland Foundation. Youth support and disability development officer, Craig Mathews, explained: “Our players’ range in age from 16 years upwards, so securing funding from The Oakland Foundation is fantastic and vital to our long term playing success.” Playing for the region in the Birmingham Ability Counts League Midlands, registered under the Birmingham Football Association, encompasses three levels of playing ability; Premiership, Championship and League, the football club was originally founded by Darren Veness and Craig Matthews employees of the Redditch YMCA in August 2010, with the aim of providing fresh opportunities for players with disabilities to take part in the sport. Thanks to their kit funding agreement, which will cover and pay for players kit, insurance and league fees for the next 3-years, their next plan is to introduce a Girls Disability Team in 2014/15, one level below the U16 Boys Team and one level below the U13 Mixed Team. The Oakland Foundation, working with local youth organisations, aim is to reduce child poverty within Redditch and Bromsgrove areas through their work in the areas of Health and Nutrition, and Education and Sport. Oakland Foundation Trustee, Hayley Smith, stated: “We are delighted to support the club as they develop and grow their existing  teams and importantly aim to encompass both boys and girls disability players within their teams. As a long term supporter of the work of the YMCA within our local community, it is our pleasure to support them in this way.”