The Chelsea Foundation's Football+ programme continues to grow following the creation of a new football team specifically for those players suffering with Down’s Syndrome.
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 Down’s Syndrome, 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: ‘There are so many people registered with Down’s Syndrome but the only chance they get to play football is within pan-disability training.
‘This is far from ideal as Down’s Syndrome has a specific pattern of cognitive and behavioural features cognitive and they need to be training and interacting with others who have down's syndrome.
‘The initiative we have worked on is growing by the day and the aim is to continue growing it and moving in to more areas the Foundation covers.
‘The members currently play within themselves but we are working with DSActive to arrange games against other teams in the country.’