Tranmere Rovers in the Community were awarded the Disability Club of the Year accolade at the Cheshire FA’s annual awards ceremony on Friday.
TRIC host disability football sessions for both adults and juniors at Prenton Park Recreation Centre each week, as well as our Premier League Unified Kicks session which is inclusive of all genders and disabilities.
TRIC have four disability teams who take part in the Cheshire Ability Counts Football League tournaments, an accredited PAN Disability Football League in Cheshire.
We also have disability provision which isn’t team-based such as our disability day centre and school visits.
Leon, Brandon and Bailey who have been attending our sessions for several years now, attended the ceremony and went up onstage to receive the award on behalf of the Club.
Leon, aged 12, has come a long way since first attending our sessions in 2018, when he was home-schooled and the session was the only time he would leave the house during the week. He has developed into a confident young man, and now helps newcomers to the session settle in and feel comfortable.
He was confident enough to deliver a fantastic acceptance speech at the awards ceremony and received a standing ovation, with some of those in attendance moved to tears, which you can read some of below:
“I would like to thank the Cheshire FA for awarding us Disability Club of the Year. I also thank my coaches at Tranmere for choosing me to speak on behalf of them. It is truly an honour for my family and Tranmere.
“At Tranmere, we do multiple football sessions with many disabilities. My friends have different and varying disabilities, for example, autism, cerebral palsy, and ADHD. I’m one of the autistic kids at Tranmere.
“It isn’t just the kids and adults that make Tranmere the Disability Club of the Year, it’s the coaches as well. My coaches, Faye, Louise and Corey are so helpful and they assist us in so many ways. Without our coaches, we wouldn’t be growing our football skills exponentially.
"I would like to talk about my friend Mason. Mason is a fantastic player who has been training with us for many years and was recently picked for the England Youth squad. Tranmere are so proud of him. Mason is an extroardinary footballer and a great person in general.
“I’m thirteen years old and I’ve been coming to Tranmere for five years. It isn’t just my football skills that have improved, it’s my social skills as well. I recently started school again in 2021 because I was home schooled for many years.
“I’ve received many accolades as well since starting school, which I am extremely proud of. I go to a special sports college and I’ve been awarded student council as well. My family and I couldn’t be more happy.”
Faye Jones, Disability Officer at Tranmere Rovers in the Community, said: “As a Club, we are so proud to be recognised for our disability provision.
“We have four teams who compete regularly in the Cheshire FA Ability Counts League and train weekly.
“We are proud that their dedication, hard work, and exemplary attitudes have been recognised with this accolade.”
If you or someone you know might like to join any of the football sessions mentioned above, you can contact Faye via FayeJ@tranmererovers.co.uk.