The Scottish Football Association (SFA) has announced that former Scotland forward Darren Jackson will act as ambassador for the 2010 CPISRA European Football 7-a-side Championships in Glasgow next month.
Between 17 and 28 August, Glasgow will welcome nine European countries, along with guest nation Australia, for the cerebral palsy (CP) football tournament, organised by the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA). Jackson's involvement is intended to encourage more players to participate in CP football – which is specifically for players who have cerebral palsy, have suffered a stroke, or have any other acquired brain injury. CPISRA was awarded UEFA's CHF 1m charity cheque in 2007.
Jackson, now 43, recovered from a brain injury shortly after joining Celtic FC from Hibernian FC in 1997. "When I found out I needed a brain operation it was a huge blow," he said while promoting the event to be staged at the Toryglen Regional Football Centre. "I appreciate the strength that football gave me at that time and the support network. That's why I'm backing the championships and the SFA's drive to recruit more players for their CP programme."
The former Newcastle United FC and Dundee United FC attacker rebuilt his career and went on to play for Heart of Midlothian FC. Stuart Sharp, the SFA national development manager for disability, added: "It's fantastic to have Darren as he will enhance the profile of the sport. We need the public to be aware of all the opportunities that exist for people with disabilities to play football, whether at recreational, regional or national level." Scotland's CP team, ranked seventh in the world, will compete against Denmark, England, Finland, Netherlands, Republic of Ireland, Russia, Scotland, Ukraine as well as Australia at the championships.
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