CHILDREN from across the city had the chance to enjoy a festival of football in Tattenhoe on Saturday celebrating deaf accessibility to the sport.
Dons Sport and Education Trust played host to the National Deaf Children’s Society’s Deaf Friendly Football Festival and youngsters between six and 16-years-old, with different levels of deafness, were invited to play.
They got specialist coaching from MK Dons SET coaches before taking part in training activities and mini games throughout the morning before watching MK Dons against Bournemouth.
After the festival a new MK Dons FC Disability team for junior deaf players was launched and they will now compete against other deaf football teams.
MK Dons Sport and Education Trust Disability Officer, Karl White, said: “All our sessions take place locally and the emphasis has always been based on ‘Everybody Plays’. We strive to give people the opportunity to play football regardless of age, race, gender or ability.
“We want to be able to provide a safe place where everybody can take part in regular coaching sessions, enhance their footballing skills and improve their social and life skills.”
NDCS inclusive activities manager, Hayley Jarvis, said: “There is a severe lack of accessible football activities for deaf children and young people across the UK; approximately only 100 out of 120,000 teams are registered as deaf friendly. This festival is a celebration of clubs like MK Dons who have taken the simple steps to become accessible to deaf young people.
“Involving deaf children in football is great for their confidence and social skills. We want to make sure that deaf young people have the same opportunities to take part in sports as any other children. It is fantastic that clubs like MK Dons are creating playing, coaching and socialising opportunities for deaf children.”