Young people with disabilities from nine Wigan Borough schools recently competed in the annual Every Player Counts football festival at Wigan Soccerdome.

Hosted by Wigan Athletic Community Trust, the event saw more than 100 children from schools including Atherton Community High School, Dean Trust, Hawkley Hall, Hope, Oakfield, St John Fisher, St Peter’s, Standish and Shevington in attendance at the third year of the festival.


Launched in Wigan by first team stars Will Grigg and Michael Jacobs in 2016, the festival aimed to improve the skills and techniques of participants through a number of inclusive activities before taking part in a football tournament.

The Every Player Counts programme is funded by the Wembley National Stadium Trust and administered by the EFL Trust, and aims to get more people with disabilities involved in sport.

Sean Rowlinson, Sports Coach at Wigan Athletic Community Trust, said: “This event continues to go from strength to strength with more and more young people involved each time. The festival this year was a real success and was well received by both participants and schools.  Every Player Counts scheme has seen us work with more than 600 people with disabilities in Wigan, giving them the opportunity to play football and sport, but more importantly helping them to improve their development and confidence, as well as meeting new people.”

The Community Trust engage with schools and colleges across the borough on a weekly basis as part of the programme, and work with the club’s junior and adult disability football teams who compete in the Greater Manchester Ability Counts League.



19 teams from different communities across the Wigan competed against each other in the Together Cup before the Latics game against West Bromwich Albion last weekend.

Organised for a second consecutive year by Wigan Athletic Community Trust, Wigan Council and Inspiring healthy lifestyles, more than 80 people took part in the event at Robin Park Arena, which aimed to bring under-represented communities across Wigan together.

Supported by Kick It Out, teams included Leigh Asylum Seeker and Refugee Support (LASARS), Support for Wigan Arrivals (SWAP), The Brick, Addaction, Football 4 Forces, Every Player Counts, Leigh Youth Voice Group, RECLAIM project, Hindley Kicks, Global Friends, Place 2 Place, Wigan Mosque, Wigan Youth Zone, Wigan Council, West Bromwich Albion Kicks and Derby County.  Tom Flower, Head of Community at Wigan Athletic Community Trust said:

“The event was brilliant because not only did it bring communities together, it gave them all an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends, while also having the chance to play competitive football next to the DW Stadium.”

Participants were invited to Latics’ home fixture against the Baggies later that afternoon, a game which saw Paul Cook’s side pick up three points thanks to Josh Windass’ second half strike. Councillor Chris Ready, Portfolio Holder for Communities and Neighbourhoods at Wigan Council, said: “The tournament was all about building positive community relations through football, bringing people together and encouraging respect for each other, it was a superb event. He added:

 “There were people involved who originally came from countries all over the world and everyone had smiles on their faces. October is black history month so it’s an appropriate time to provide opportunities to work together to build stronger communities across Wigan.”

Winners of the adult tournament were Leigh Asylum Seeker and Refugee Support, while successful in the junior section were Hindley Kicks.

Giulia Kelemen, 12, originally from Romania but now living in Leigh, said:

“It was hard work but really fun. We started off as strangers but made new friends because it was all about teamwork, so it showed we all have lots of similarities and should all be equal.”

For more information about Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s Community Development programmes, please email Steve Eastwood on s.eastwood@wiganathletic.com or call 01942 318090.





EFL Trust to Get Dads and Daughters Active

The EFL Trust in partnership with Women in Sport, Fulham Football Club and the Fatherhood Institute are celebrating after being awarded £118,300 of National Lottery funding from Sport England to help low income families in London get active with their children over the next year. The programme will specifically target dads and daughters in the UK and will replicate a programme which was designed by the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Sport England’s Active Lives Survey[1] reveals that only 54% of adults on a low income and with children are active, compared to 71% of those in higher-income groups. Girls in lower socio-economic groups are even less likely to be active, with half of girls aged 5-15 in families with the lowest household income doing less than 30 minutes daily outside school (Health Survey for England, 2015).  Overall only 26% of girls aged 5 -7 meet Chief Medical Officer guidelines for physical activity outside school. By age 13-15, this drops to just 9%.

Parents often see their role as helpers rather than role models in encouraging their children to be active. Research by the University of Newcastle (Australia) found that fathers are less involved with their daughters than mothers, tend to spend less time with daughters than sons and don’t acknowledge their role in fostering their daughters’ physical activity behaviours.

Sport England has dedicated a £40-million National Lottery funding pot to address this by helping families get active together, and Women in Sport in partnership with the Fatherhood Institute, Fulham Football Club and the EFL Trust is one of 10 to receive awards in the latest round of investments. The fund is a key part of Sport England’s focus on helping young people have an enjoyable experience of sport and physical activity, so they develop a positive attitude towards being active at an early age and continue being active in later life.

Sport England are funding organisations that help families get active together, because parents and close family members can have a big impact on children’s experiences. Parents who are active themselves and enjoy it can encourage positive feelings about exercise and its value in their children. Yet many parents lack the skills or confidence to take part in sport with their children as they fear they cannot keep up. Each of the funded projects will work to address this by building adults’ confidence around getting active with their children, and by providing experiences for families that are enjoyable, convenient and low cost.

With this new National Lottery funding, a programme targeting daughters and their dads, developed by University of Newcastle (Australia) Professor Philip Morgan and his team, will encourage fathers/father-figures to play a greater role in supporting their daughters to develop physical confidence and competence and involve girls aged 5-11 in shaping how their families get active together. Professor Morgan commented:

“By harnessing the unique relationship between fathers and daughters, our programme has been shown to significantly improve the physical activity levels of families in Australia. It is very exciting to be involved in the world first adaptation of the programme and to examine the impact on families in the UK”

Fulham Football club will deliver weekly 90-minute group sessions combining practical and educational activities, the programme teaches girls sports skills through fun games and physical activities and educates fathers about positive lifestyle role-modelling and parenting strategies.

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said:

“This will encourage families to get involved in sport together and increase opportunities for people to get active in their local community. I look forward to seeing the positive impact this programme will have on people’s health – both physical and mental – and how it can help nurture a life-long love of sport and physical activity.”

Mike Diaper, Sport England’s Executive Director, said:

“Parents have many demands on their time and can lack confidence in how to get active with their children. That’s why Sport England is working hard to make getting active or playing sport with your children an easier choice. It doesn’t matter what people do or how good they are, having fun together is what is important and helps ensure children continue to be active adults.”

Ruth Holdaway, CEO Women in Sport, said:

‘We and all of our partners are delighted to have received funding from the National Lottery to fund this important work, enabling us to challenge stereotypes about girls playing sport, and increase fathers’ confidence and ability to act as role models in relation to their daughter’s participation in sport and physical activity.’


Notes to Editors                         

About Sport England

Sport England is a public body and invests up to £300 million National Lottery and government money each year in projects and programmes that help people get active and play sport.

It wants everyone in England, regardless of age, background, or level of ability, to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity. That’s why a lot of its work is specifically focused on helping people who do no, or very little, physical activity and groups who are typically less active – like women, disabled people and people on lower incomes.

About Women in Sport

Women in Sport is the leading charity dedicated to empowering women and girls through sport. Our vision is a society where women and men have equal opportunities. Women and girls are missing out on the lifelong benefits of sport. We want to change this, now, for every woman and girl in the UK. We are the only organisation in the UK that researches sport purely from the perspective of women and girls. We use the insight gained to drive change through campaigns and partnerships.

About the partners

The Fatherhood Institute has delivered their Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED) programme to over 7,000 fathers and their primary-aged children in five deprived areas of England for the past 5 years. This includes work with fathers in BAME communities in Bradford, Luton, the West Midlands and London. The charity’s work in diverse communities includes adapting materials and images so they portray and appeal to “someone like me” and are accessible to parents with lower literacy levels or English as an additional language.

Fulham FC Foundation has a strong track record of improving health and wellbeing amongst children and adults in deprived areas of London through its Health Champions programme, which combines educational workshops and physical activity. The Foundation also delivered fanActiv, a health intervention targeting overweight or inactive male football fans.

The EFL Trust is a national charity that uses the power of football to change people’s lives. The EFL Trust unites the inspirational work delivered across England and Wales by the dedicated network Football Club Community Organisations associated to the 72 EFL clubs. Last year, the network engaged over 1 million people using the power of football to improve health, inspire education, reduce crime, increase participation in activity and tackle many difficult social issues like drug abuse, counter extremism and homelessness. The Trust tackles society’s greater goals by inspiring people through powerful projects built upon a foundation of our four key themes – sport, education and employability, community engagement and health.

The University of Newcastle (UON) Australia is a research-intensive University focused on improving the quality of life in our regions and around the globe. Our academics, students and staff pursue innovative solutions to the world’s great challenges.

Ranked 214 of the world’s universities, UON is a leader in driving engagement, innovation and impact in areas of national and global significance, including health and medicine, sustainable energy and resources, and the humanities. Recognised for its commitment to equity and excellence in higher education and research, UON has campuses in Newcastle, the Central Coast, Port Macquarie, Sydney and Singapore. UON enrols more than 37,000 students from diverse backgrounds, with a focus on developing the world’s next generation of socially-oriented leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators.


[1] Sport England Active Lives Survey May 2017/18

JOB VACANCIES: NCS Performance Management Partner x 2

Post Title: NCS Performance Management Partner x2

Role Status: Full time (35 hours), Permanent.

Organisational Base – 1st Role: Home Based – Managing the South East Region (Portsmouth, Southampton, Isle of Wight, Crawley)

Organisational Base – 2nd Role:Office Based – EFL House, 10 – 12 West Cliff, Preston PR1 8HU – Managing the North West Region.

Reporting To: Operations Manager (Community Engagement)

Salary: £27,000 to £33,000 + Benefits package

Formed in 1888 by its twelve founder members, the EFL (English Football League) is the world’s original league football competition and is the template for leagues the world over. It has 72 member clubs, each of which embodies the unique heritage, pride and passion of the communities they represent. The EFL is the largest single body of professional clubs in European football and is responsible for administering and regulating the EFL, the Carabao Cup and the Checkatrade Trophy, as well as reserve and youth football.

EFL Trust is the official charity of the EFL and uses the power of sport to improve lives and make a positive contribution to 72 communities across the country.

The Trust draws together each of the 72 EFL Club Trusts to tackle society’s greater goals by inspiring people through powerful projects built upon a foundation of four key themes of sport, education, community engagement and health.

Key projects are delivered by the dedicated network of community trusts associated to the 72 EFL clubs, one of those programmes is the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme.  NCS is a government funded national programme for 16 and 17 year olds designed to help young people on their transition to adulthood and the roles they can play in their community.

EFL Trust hold a prime contract for delivery of the NCS Programme in Yorkshire and Humber, as well as 7 regional sub-contracts across various regions in England.  2 vacancies exist for experienced Project and Performance Managers to work in the in the South East and the North West sub-contracting regions.

The Candidate

You will be given the autonomy to steer and influence the success of the regions NCS performance.  You must have the ability to build strong an effective relationships and the confidence to challenge when appropriate.  You will have self discipline to mange your own workload and focus priorities.  You will have experience in a similar role managing the performance of contractors using qualitative and quantitative measures.

You will have the support of an experience and supportive team in an organisation which values people.

Regular travel is a feature of both roles and occasional evening and weekend working including some overnight stays.

Benefits Package:

  • Generous Company Pension Scheme, with an EFL Trust contribution of 10% of basic salary.
  • Opt-in private healthcare.
  • 23 days holiday (plus 8 bank holidays), rising to 25 days after 5 years. Holiday year commences 1st (Holiday purchase scheme in operation).

For an informal chat please email in the first instance, jriley@efltrust.com  EFL Trust Business Manager.

To apply please request an Application Form from Jessica Dexter, HR & Payroll Officer at jdexter@efl.com.

Closing Date: Friday 9th November at 5pm.

Interview Date(s): Role 1  – 20th November 2018 – 55 Blandford Street, London W1U 7HW

                                      Role 2 – 21st November 2018 – EFL House, 10 – 12 West Cliff, Preston PR1 8HU


Candidates must be available for interview on the respective dates.

Blackburn’s successful EuroFIT healthy lifestyle programme set to relaunch this month

Following the level of success achieved during its previous incarnation, Blackburn Rovers Community Trust can reveal that the EuroFIT (European Fans in Training) programme is set to be relaunched within the next month.

The 12-week healthy lifestyle initiative, which is catered for men aged 30-65, first ran from February this year and proved a huge success. On average, the group lost an astonishing 20.9kg in weight, along with 28cm of their waist measurements.

EuroFIT is a unique scheme which provides a series of health and nutrition activities for men looking to improve their lifestyle within Blackburn and its surrounding areas.

The course will revolve around specifically designed two hour sessions, which will take place at the Blackburn Rovers Indoor Centre, Nuttall Street, Blackburn, BB2, 4JF.

These sessions, which cost just £3 per person, will involve a series of education workshops and sporting activities in a bid to improve the group’s knowledge of diet and nutrition, lifestyle choices, and weight/waist measurements.

And whilst the aim of EuroFIT is to increase the level of physical activity each participant endures, former attendee Mike Graham believes the programme can also have a massive affect on one’s social life.

He said: “I set up two groups [Facebook and Whatsapp], so we can all communicate and encourage each other to keep active and lose weight. We compete against each other and use that as motivation to see who would do the most steps in one day, for example.

“We have now booked a regular weekly spot at the Indoor Centre to play football and it is helping to keep everyone active.”

Programme leader, Ilyas Patel, said: “The success from last year’s programme was massive. People like Mike who came on board are all now good friends, it’s great to see.

“They want to keep their healthy lifestyle and whilst it isn’t specifically a weight loss programme, we saw everyone lose weight.”

An open evening for the programme will be held in the Darwen End at Ewood Park on Monday 29th October, with further details to be announced in due course.

The evening will involve participants attending an introductory session, completing paperwork, and having their height, weight and BMI (body mass index) measured.

To register your interest for EuroFIT, please click here. For any further information contact Ilyas Patel on 01254 508256, or by email at: Ilyas.Patel@brfctrust.co.uk.

JOB VACANCY: Governance and Contracts Officer

Post title: Governance and Contracts Officer

Role status: Full time 35 Hours per week – to be worked 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Organisational base: EFL House, 10 – 12 West Cliff, Preston PR1 8HU

Special requirements of the role: Some travel and evening work may be required from time to time.

Reporting to: Head of Governance.

Salary: £21,000 to £27,000

Formed in 1888 by its twelve founder members, the English Football League is the world’s original league football competition and is the template for leagues the world over. With 72 member clubs, it is also the largest single body of professional clubs in European football and is responsible for administering and regulating the Sky Bet EFL, Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy, as well as reserve and youth football.

EFL Trust is the charitable arm of the EFL and oversees the inspiring work of the 72 EFL clubs’ community organisations (CCOs), which engages with more than 1.5million people every season. The key themes of the EFL Trust are Sport, Education, Health and Community Engagement.

The EFL Trust business team is looking for a bright and articulate commercial law, governance or business graduate who can support EFL Trust with contract administration and coordinate the governance activities of the 72 CCOs and its own governance practices. The successful candidate will have excellent interpersonal and team work skills with the ability to clearly and effectively communicate with colleagues, professional services and external partners. An understanding of governance and contract terms are required, either through practical or theoretical experience.

The successful candidate will be a member of an effective and supportive team in an organisation which is ambitious for growth and development.

The role is based in modern, purpose built offices with private parking in the Centre of Preston. The office is 5 minute walk from the Preston Rail Station.

Reward package:
• Generous Company Pension Scheme. EFL Trust will contribute 10% of monthly salary to a company pension scheme.
• Opt-in private healthcare.
• 23 days holiday (plus 8 bank holidays), rising to 25 days after 5 years. Holiday year commences 1st January. Holiday purchase scheme in operation.

Immediate start available.

To apply please request an Application Form from Jessica Dexter, HR & Payroll Officer at jdexter@efl.com.

Closing Date: 10am Monday 29th October 2018
Interview Date(s): 6th November 2018 (candidates must be available for interview on this date)
Interview Location: EFL House, 10 – 12 West Cliff, Preston, PR1 8HU

‘It was a dream come true for the participants to play alongside their idols.’

Brewers winger David Templeton and young goalkeeper Jack Livesey were out in the local community this week, showing their support for a Powerchair Football session ran in partnership with Burton Albion Community Trust.

Powerchair football is a unique sport that provides opportunities for people with a high level of impairment to access the game of football. It is the only active team participation sport for people who use electric wheelchairs.

The Scottish duo joined in with the St George’s Knights Burton Albion Chariots training session, who currently play in the open aged West Midlands Powerchair Premiership Regional League.

During their visit, they got the chance to experience what it was like to play football in a powerchair, whilst also learning more information about the rules of the session and the conditions that the participants live with.

The side, who train on Wednesday evenings from 6pm-7pm at the Meadowside Leisure Centre, is ran by volunteers from the Staffordshire area, working in partnership with coaches from Burton Albion Community Trust.

Their most recent result was an impressive 5-1 victory over Manchester United’s PFC team, last Sunday afternoon.

Adam Lawrence, Community Coach at BACT, said: “It was such a fantastic experience for everyone involved. Both the players showed a great amount of interest in the session and got really involved.

“We’ve got a couple of really big Burton fans who attend the session and it was a dream come true for them to get to play the sport that they love, alongside their idols that they watch week in, week out.

“Even those who aren’t from the area and travel in from as far as Newcastle-Under-Lyme, are starting to show a real interest in the club now, so appearances like this are invaluable to what we are trying to do as a whole.”

For more information on the sessions, which includes development training for beginners, please call the St George’s Knights Chairman, Jason Christer on: 07805944462.

JOB VACANCY: Health Officer at Blackpool FC Community Trust

Would you like the opportunity to work for a thriving charity, based in Blackpool supporting children aged 1 -4 years and their families?

Blackpool FC Community Trust is a close knit team that employs more than 60 local people to support the local community to improve their lives through physical activity, health and wellbeing, education and employability programmes.

In the 2017-2018 season, the Community Trust worked with 20,329 different people across the town, whilst delivering 9503 sessions.

This fantastic opportunity will deliver a range of opportunities to support early ages to increase their involvement in regular physical activity, whilst supporting the full family with positive health messages.

The post holder will work closely with Blackpool Better Start, to work in the seven most needed areas in the town to support, enthuse and inspire the local families to engage in positive, regular health related workshops and activities.

To find out more about the role visit: http://www.blackpoolfccommunitytrust.co.uk/get-involved/vacancies/

‘Being involved at Swindon Town Football in the Community has been pivotal in my recovery from mental health problems.’

Injury is one of the most difficult things a professional footballer is likely to endure in their career and anxiety can arise from concerns that the injury heralds the decline or even the end of a life-long dream. 

A career ending challenge is all that it takes.

Stephen Holmes, Lead Coach at Swindon Town Football in the Community had to suffer that very heartache.

In 1987, as a teenager from London, Stephen had achieved his life-long dream after signing a two-year contract at Blackburn Rovers. He played in the club’s youth and reserve team before moving on to Enfield, Marlow and Whitney Town.

In 1994, at the age of 24, an event that lasted just a few seconds on a football pitch, changed his life.  A badly mistimed two footed tackle that broke Stephen’s leg put an end to his promising football career.

He said: “To put it into words, it was pure devastation. “For a year and a half I tried but there was no way back. My mind was still sharp, but physically I just couldn’t keep up.”

Unable to play the sport that was undeniably his life, he became mentally ill and was later diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1999.

He added: “I was very depressed and admitted to a psychiatric hospital twice. “I think, I believe and I know what happened to me as a player had a detrimental impact on my mental health.”

When Stephen started helping out at Swindon Town Football in the Community, his life took a turn for the better.

“It was a pivotal point in my life when Clive Maguire and Jon Holloway employed me as a volunteer coach at Swindon Town Football in the Community. They employed me in 1997 when I was very unwell and the fact they did that despite what I was going through reduces any stigma or discrimination.

“A lot of people if they didn’t understand mental health would run away from it or brush it under the carpet but Clive and Jon were very empathetic towards my situation.”

In 2001, Stephen made a full recovery and in 2016 became a Lead Coach on Swindon Town Football in the Community’s Mental Health programme.

Last month his hard work and dedication to the programme was recognised as he was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM).

Speaking about his BEM, Stephen said: “I’m very humble and grateful to receive the award. I have no idea who nominated me but I want to thank them so much for believing in me. It’s incredibly fulfilling to help others and being a part of something special and unique where there is acceptance and understanding.”

The Mental Health programme which was established in 2016 through funding from Wembley National Stadium Trust (WNST) and EFL Trust, promotes positivity and well-being for participants.

Clive Maguire, Senior Football Development Officer at STFITC said: “The Mental Health sessions have enabled people to have a sense of belonging which has also created an infrastructure of support and friendships amongst players.

“We started with 4 participants back in 2016 and now currently have 43 participants on the register.

“Stephen has been pivotal to the success of the initiative thus far. He is not only the Coach but the support and compassion he offers the individual participants goes way beyond the call of duty.

“He is an absolute inspiration and an amazing example of someone who has overcome huge barriers in his life and gone on to help others who have daily issues and problems.”


Mind are the official charity partner of EFL. With over 21 million fans attending EFL matches each season (and 55 million watching on TV), this partnership is a brilliant opportunity for us to promote awareness and understanding of mental health amongst football fans, and to help more people living with mental health problems access the support they need.

Together we are harnessing the power of football to raise awareness of mental health, improve the approach to mental health in sport and raise funds to deliver life changing national and local support.


Text FOOTBALL to 70660 to donate £3 to Mind, and help make sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone.

Bristol Rovers’ ‘Recovery Through Sport’ making an impact

Bristol Rovers’ ‘Recovery Through Sport’ is an innovative programme that aims to harness the power of sport to improve people’s physical and mental wellbeing.

It is open to any adults whether they want to get some exercise, build social networks, gain confidence in being around people or just help improve their general wellbeing.

One participant on the programme said: “Before joining the group I struggled getting out of the house and especially meeting people, but now I feel confident to talk to new people and socialise with others.

“As well as going to the weekly group, we also gained the opportunity to watch a Bristol Rovers match and walk out on the pitch in front of the crowd which was a brilliant experience.

“I’ve found that going to the football group and then standing in front of the Bristol Rovers fans has really helped build my self-confidence as well as improving my physical and mental wellbeing.”

Watch the video below to find out more:


Mind are the official charity partner of EFL. With over 21 million fans attending EFL matches each season (and 55 million watching on TV), this partnership is a brilliant opportunity for us to promote awareness and understanding of mental health amongst football fans, and to help more people living with mental health problems access the support they need.

Together we are harnessing the power of football to raise awareness of mental health, improve the approach to mental health in sport and raise funds to deliver life changing national and local support.


Text FOOTBALL to 70660 to donate £3 to Mind, and help make sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone.