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New pitch unveiled for children living with CP


UEFA's HatTrick assistance programme has helped the Football Federation of Kazakhstan provide a special artificial pitch for children living with cerebral palsy.

The pitch was inaugurated in Almaty
The pitch was inaugurated in Almaty ©KFF

A football pitch for children with cerebral palsy (CP) musculoskeletal disorders was inaugurated at a school in Almaty in May.

The Football Federation of Kazakhstan (KFF) arranged for the new facility to be installed using funds from the UEFA HatTrick programme. The artificial turf pitch will enable children at the specialised boarding school to play their favourite game. They have already enjoyed training sessions with Maria Yalova, the ex-captain of the Kazakhstan women's national team, and former CSHVSM Barys player Syuzanna Kornetsova.

The inauguration ceremony was followed by a festival and a friendly match for children with CP. The day turned into a real celebration for all the children present, with the participation of TV presenters Evgeniy Ozhogin and Eldar Serikpaev, together with children's entertainers and football freestylers.

The event was attended by KFF general secretary Azamat Aitkhozhin, champion wrestler Islam Bayramukov and Kairat striker Chuma Anene.

Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood and Kazakhstan has 15,000 youngsters living with the condition. Last year the KFF joined the International Federation of Cerebral Palsy Football, leading to Almaty hosting the country's first football championship for children and teenagers with CP and neurological conditions. Six teams took part with players in the 10–15 age range.

This article originally appeared in UEFA Direct 179