Ipswich Town Foundation is delighted to now be offering Frame Football sessions to children with a wide range of limitations to their ability.
Frame Football offers children who utilise walking aids to reap the benefits of playing football.
The majority of children who attend utilise a walker that is open at the front called a ‘Kaye Walker’. Providing the frame allows them to play through issues with balance and co-ordination, also allowing them to run safely and make football accessible.
The group in Ipswich was set up in September 2021 by Eoin McNamee, a physiotherapist who moved to the area and noted that there was no provision of this kind provided locally, and who still delivers the sessions 18 months later.
What initially started out as a taster session where most participants had never met another child in a frame before, has now grown into a team of 13 children who train every two weeks. Amongst the children and their families, Eoin’s idea has developed into a community of people.
The team attended a national tournament at St. George’s Park, the training base of England’s national teams, and won Suffolk Grassroots Project of the Year 2022.
Frame Football Suffolk previously operated under local grassroots club Coplestonians, and has now transitioned to working within Ipswich Town Foundation’s provision. The Foundation would like to place on record its sincere thanks to David McGregor at Coplestonians for his understanding and professionalism.
The Foundation has now provided the participants with Town-branded training kit while students from Suffolk New College sprayed the frames blue and white with paint provided by Movac.
“We’re delighted to finally be able to offer Frame Football at the Foundation,” said Leanne Smith, the Foundation’s Community Engagement Officer.
“This is another strand of our provision that ensures football is for everyone and that we’re an inclusive Club. Having seen Eoin deliver the session, it was incredible to see the beaming smiles on the faces of the children and parents.”
The sessions are for children aged 4-12 years old and are currently taking place indoors at Copleston Sports Centre, before eventually moving to Suffolk One.
The sessions are held fortnightly on Sunday mornings and are led by Eoin who, alongside his job as a physiotherapist, is a FA qualified and experienced frame football coach.
“A big thing about the sessions for me is trying to get the word out there that this is available,” he added when asked about the difference partnering with the Foundation can make.
“People are keen to help with this but it’s the communication and the networking that really makes the difference, so for me as well as growing what we can do here in Ipswich, I’ve got a big interest in showing other groups out there that this can be done.”
This announcement comes towards the end of Level Playing Field’s Unite For Access campaign, which seeks to make sport and stadiums as accessible and inclusive as possible.
For more information on the sessions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.