The English FA’s para role model programme was launched in 2018 with the aim of raising awareness of the opportunities available for people with a disability to play football and inspiring the next generation of players.
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The FA has a group of 18 para role models who have represented England at senior para team level. Each role model has been selected for their contribution to the game at the highest level, positive sporting behaviour on and off the field of play and leadership qualities.
The role models cover each of the six senior disability teams – Powerchair, hearing impaired male and female, cerebral palsy, partially sighted and blind. All have unique stories to share.
The role models have gone through a six-month training programme focusing on skills such as public speaking. The programme has equipped the role models with the tools to deliver face-to-face presentations in environments ranging from primary schools to conferences, corporate events and clubs across England.
The role models vary in experience, from professional public speakers to those who are just learning to tell their story. The one thing they all have in common is that they are outstanding people. The programme sits alongside The FA’s new Football Your Way plan, which sets out to help develop, improve and raise awareness of disability football in England.
This article appeared originally in UEFA Direct 197