As heated debate blew up on BBC TV News and in the media this week, following the latest figures showing a drop in the number of people participating in Sport, even more bad news was announced by Sport England. The number of people participating regularly in sport is down by 125,000 to just 15.6 million while fewer disabled people play sport regularly except of course at Stockport County! This month Stockport County Community Foundation hosted the monthly East Cheshire Ability Counts League entering not one but two Pan Disability teams for the first time ever in the Charter Standard Disability League organised by the charity in County's name.
Ian Lees, Chairman of the Community Foundation, enthused " This was a fantastic milestone for our disability programme and highlights the positive work we deliver with disabled adults within the Stockport area. The Foundation has been running weekly sessions for three years and in that time the sessions have developed tremendously. Considering we started with very few participants, it is a fantastic achievement for The Stockport County Community Foundation team and all the players involved, that we are now able to field two competitive teams in the league.
We were sorry to hear the breaking news about the national picture with 121,700 fewer disabled people playing sport and I can understand in part as it's a constant battle for us to raise the funds and provide the resources for this crucial work! However we're proud that County's Community Foundation is trailblazing in this and other areas and in spite of the challenge to find the money for our work we are nevertheless reinforcing Stockport County's contribution to the borough of Stockport and further afield. "
The Foundation's Disability Officer Jordan Raynes is a well known Paralympian and active Ambassador for the Paralympic movement across the North West of England having first captained England at the Beijing Olympics and the tender age of 18.
Jordan, is a familiar face around Edgeley Park and very popular with many of the 18,000 children and young people the County Community Foundation work regularly with in schools.
Jordan Raynes is clearly delighted that his work is bucking the national trend but in his typically modest style he always insists on credit going to both the new and regular participants;
" Having worked with this fantastic group for the last 3 years I have had the privilege of seeing the group grow both as a team and as individual players. For many of our players the opportunity to represent Stockport County is the highlight of the month. It makes me very proud that we are giving increasing numbers of people the opportunity to represent Stockport County "
The East Cheshire Ability Counts League is split into two divisions. The Stockport County Community Foundation entered their new football team in the second division. They have played 3 matches, winning one against Aquinas College and battled hard in tough fast-paced games against Stockport FC Tigers and Buxton College. All at Stockport County hope they go from strength to strength and we wish them well!
If anyone would like more info on how to get involved with the disability programme please contact Jordan.firstname.lastname@example.org
We are always looking for new players, sponsorship or volunteers.