With the Day of Disabilities well underway, we want to bring you a story about how Shrewsbury Town’s work in the community has totally transformed his life through the power of football.
Ryan Thomas is 15-years-old who suffers from Chronic Pain Syndrome as well as severe anxiety and is a selective mute, Ryan’s family found out about the ShrewsAbility PAN Football sessions. Although Ryan was extremely nervous about attending the session when he first began, they have become the highlight of his week, he has now started talking at the sessions to both participants and coaches and says it has made him feel safe. he said
“PAN football is great fun, well organised and I feel safe, I wish that I could play every day,”
Ryan has slowly built great friendships within the group and has even met up with other members of the sessions, the other participants of the group have made him feel welcome and he can now attend the sessions with no feelings of anxiety, only excitement. The ShrewsAbility sessions are part of EFL Trust’s Every Player Counts programme, which is funded by the Wembley National Stadium Trust
The EFL have committed to a programme of continual improvement to make football more inclusive with all 72 clubs and Level Playing Field. Which includes delivering a brand new educational seminar for clubs, publishing a new guidance document called ‘The Accessible Supporters Guide’ covering the entire matchday experience from ticket purchase to leaving the ground, and much more.