Bradford City Disability FC, a ladies team formed less than six months ago, reached The FA People’s Cup 2018 Final thanks to Grow the Game funding.
Grow the Game, an annual grant scheme financed by The FA and delivered via the Football Foundation, offers grassroots football clubs wishing to create new teams with an opportunity to apply for funding. Following a successful application in September 2017, Bradford City Disability FC was formed of seven grassroots footballers, four of whom had never played the sport previously.
The team entered into the Adult Female Disability category and began their campaign at one of the 250 first-round venues in February. The team progressed to the regional semi-finals, before reaching the final round of the competition at St George’s Park last weekend [Saturday 28 April]. There, they faced some of the best female disability teams in the country and made it through to the Final, eventually finishing runners-up to three-time champions Aston Villa Ladies Disability FC.
Gemma Rose Fletcher, Bradford City Disability FC goalkeeper, said: “Bradford City Disability FC has changed my life for the better! I didn’t really know many people with disabilities until I met the team and coaches when I started attending training. We train once a week and all have a laugh with each other, and I have made many new friends through the club.
“Having started by playing in the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League just a few months ago, it was one of the best experiences of my life to reach The FA People’s Cup Final. It felt like a dream and I’m so proud of what we have achieved in such a short space of time.”
Paul Jubb, Bradford City Disability FC Head Coach, said: “I can’t believe we reached The FA People’s Cup Final. I’d like to thank The FA and the Football Foundation for the Grow the Game grant, which we put towards FA coaching courses, league affiliation costs, and general kit and equipment.
“The ladies have really benefited from being a part of the team, not only through improvements in their physical health, but also thanks to their new friendships. We are now looking to carry this momentum with some of the younger girls’ teams so that we can emulate this success.”
Since it was launched in 2010, Grow the Game has supported:
14,462 new teams
58,005 female footballers supported
152,187 male footballers supported
10,527 male disability footballers supported
2,488 female disability footballers supported
44,674 coaching qualifications gained
This year’s edition of The FA People’s Cup, which was run in partnership with BBC Get Inspired, saw over 45,000 players take part across 18 different categories.
To learn more about Grow the Game, please visit the Football Foundation website.
Report courtesy of the FA