Three of the best

National Children’s Football Week hosted by Don’t X The Line at Park Brow Community Primary School, Liverpool, was a success with over 200 children and parents attending this year’s Free V Free event.  Mal Lee, organiser and founder of DXTL, said, ‘We have received enquiries from far and wide about this year’s event. The demand has been overwhelming.  

Free v Free Week 12th to 20th July, 2017

By David Ramzan NCFA SEN Officer

As I work at a special needs school I know how difficult it can be for students to access football activities outside of school hours, so as part of the NCFA Free v Free we held a week of football during the school day from 12th to 20th July, before the school year ended. All the children were invited to take part and time was made for a series of games to be played each day on the playground and school field.

Students from sixth form helped out organise the teams and matches. Although the school has a football field with goals, we also played some games where goals were made up from jumpers and coats and there weren’t any side lines or coned areas. The youngsters who have some mobility difficulties playing on grass took part in some fun games in the school MUGA and then took part in a penalty shoot out against the teachers. On the last day of the Free v Free School week the juniors organised their own game, picked the sides and played without any adult instruction, cheered on by teachers and teaching assistants. The event overall was a very enjoyable experience for all those who took part during the week of fun football.

Although Kent now has one of the largest Pan-disability football leagues in the country, many youngsters with SEN/disabilities are still not able to access football simply because of travel restrictions and distance from venues where SEN/Disability league football is played. At Wyvern SEN School we hold a weekly after school football club, but for students who live some distance from the school who use school transport, if parents/carers are unable to pick their children up afterwards, then they are not able take part. Events such as the NCFA Free v Free Week of Football offers children of all abilities the opportunity to play football for free, which is how the game should be played.

Frame Football, goes from strength to strength at Kings Hills F.C. There is clearly a need to integrate all forms of young peoples football. There is also a need to highlight the importance of providing football for free for special needs players.  Frame football makes the point for Free v Free in National Children’s Football Week.