Blog H &W

Colin Bennett: Why International Day of People with Disabilities is Important

Today, Friday 3rd December, is International Day of People with Disabilities (International Day of People with Disabilities (

But for people with disabilities, it’s not about one day and then move on to the next special day. It’s every day, week, month, all year. Every year.

And that’s why days like this are so important. The day should be seen as a platform to highlight the challenges and barriers to people with a disability and even more so, amplify the great work that goes on. Let’s keep the conversation relevant, front and centre and ensure our work is the norm.

I am very proud to be the Project Manager for the EFL Trust’s Every Player Counts project which has been funded by Wembley National Stadium for the last 5 years. By the end of the 5th year our network of Club Community Organisations (CCOs) will have delivered football to nearly 15,000 participants, enabling and empowering people of all ages to be active and play.

And it’s more than just play. We know that being active is good for people’s mental and physical health, their social inclusion and for them to have a community connection. We have participants who previously wouldn’t leave their house but now have started jobs, apprenticeships, college courses. We are hearing from teachers that participants are more outgoing; we are hearing from participants that the one thing they will not miss is their football; we are seeing a pride that participants can represent their club; we know the importance of the strength of the network’s community work.

Throughout today we are highlighting that work in just some of our CCOs to showcase what we do but also to celebrate the participants and their families. Disability should not be seen as a difference. Because in fact over 80% of disabled people acquired disability later in life. Fewer than 20% were born with disability.

Think about that for a moment.

Of the people with a disability fewer than 20% were born with their disability.

The work continues every day in our communities and through the EFL Trust CCOs I see first-hand these great stories. Hopefully you can support the amplification of the message and I look forward to continuing the great work each and every day.