Inclusion project expands with creation of Chelsea Community Lions

The Chelsea Foundation’s Inclusion Project continues to grow following the creation of a new football team specifically for players with Down’s syndrome (DS).

With support from the Down’s Syndrome Association and DSActive, Chelsea Community Lions FC have been set up to provide children and adults with Down’s syndrome (DS) a fair opportunity to get involved in sport.

The newly-formed Chelsea Community Lions train weekly at Matthew Arnold School in Staines, Middlesex, with the sessions split in to two groups, one for 5-17 year olds and a bespoke session for adults.

The sessions are open to anyone with DS, with 15 youngsters currently signed up to play and eight adults already part of the programme.

Max Ashley, inclusion project coach at the Chelsea Foundation, said: ‘The club have seen a great number of participants in the past with DS but the only chance they had to play football was within pan-disability training.

‘This is far from ideal as DS has a specific pattern of cognitive and physical features cognitive and many prefer to be training and interacting with others with the condition.

‘The initiative we have worked on is growing by the day and the aim is to continue expanding and offering the opportunity to others with the condition in our designated locations.

‘The players currently play training matches at the end of each training session but we are working with DSActive to arrange games against other teams both in London and indeed across the country at DSActive’s annual national festival.’

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