Wigan Athletic duo Nathan Byrne and Jamie Jones celebrate EFL Day of Disabilities at Hope School

Wigan Athletic first team players Nathan Byrne and Jamie Jones joined 20 pupils at Hope School on Monday afternoon for an Every Player Counts disability sports session.

The visit was part of the first ever EFL Day of Disabilities, an event designed to showcase the positive work of EFL clubs in ensuring an inclusive environment for disabled fans, with Nathan and Jamie taking part in a number of football activities with youngsters.

Funded by Wembley National Stadium Trust and administered by EFL Trust, the Every Player Counts scheme aims to get more young people with disabilities across the UK involved in football and sport.

Nathan said: “It’s a great feeling for the club and for me personally that you can come out into the community and do these sort of things that bring so much joy to the kids. They were really getting involved in the session and it’s amazing to be in a position to be able to give something back.”

As part of the Every Player Counts programme, coaches from Wigan Athletic Community Trust deliver sports sessions in schools, colleges and at Wigan Youth Zone on a weekly basis and have worked with more than 600 people with disabilities across the Borough.

Pauline Lynch, Deputy Head Teacher at Hope School, said: “The children will remember this visit and will talk about the time players from Wigan Athletic came to their school for a very long time. It was a day to remember for us and I’d like to thank Latics and the players for the opportunity.”

Every Player Counts

25 EFL Clubs deliver activity covering a wide range of disability programmes including wheelchair football, football for visual impairment, learning difficulties, amputees and autism, giving many disabled people access to football for the first time.

The over-riding aim of the scheme is to increase the amount of disabled people participating in football reaching out to over 5000 people per year, breaking down the barriers that have prevented them from doing so.

Find out more by visiting: https://www.efltrust.com/projects/every-player-counts/