New non-profit foundation will work with federations and governing bodies around the world to promote inclusive opportunities for all footballers, regardless of personal disabilities.
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From powerchair footballers to the blind and amputees, the growing number of people who overcome personal disabilities to play the world’s most popular sport received a welcome boost on Thursday with the launch of Para Football.
"Para Football aims to ensure every person with disabilities has a way to play football and feels that football is positive place where they feel respected, valued, they belong and that they matter," says co-founder Sam Turner.
Leaving nobody behind
Para Football will aim to improve collaboration across all international federations governing the different types of football available for persons with disabilities, as well as official governing bodies. This includes members of UEFA’s Football for All Abilities partnership.
"All federations should work together and collaborate to provide the best possible opportunities for players of all abilities and disabilities,” added Turner. “For many, football is just a game. But it’s the determination, the stories and the abilities of its players which makes all the types of Para Football the beautiful game.”
The announcement of a new non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting inclusive opportunities at world, regional and national levels coincided with the annual celebration of the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Which types of football are supported by Para Football?
Cerebral Palsy football
Intellectual disability football
Mental health football
Partially sighted futsal
Para Football's website provides useful information on the relationship and differences between mainstream football, modified football, pan-disability football and impairment-specific adapted formats of the sport.
More about the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities
The International Day of Disabled Persons, as it was known, was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations, promoting the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.