On ‘International Day of People with Disabilities’, Derby County want to highlight some of the amazing participants who achieve incredible things year on year.

The Derby County Community Trust prides itself on providing opportunities for all and runs a vast programme for people with disabilities.

Despite the challenges of 2020, sessions have continued to run online and in person where restrictions have allowed to support talented, disabled sportspeople within their projects.

The Community Trust run several pan-disability and impairment specific sessions along with an FA Talent Hub for skilled youngsters aged 7-17 with Cerebral Palsy or a hearing or sight impediment.

Pan-disability sessions Ability Counts and Shooters form part of the EFL’s ‘Every Player Counts’ initiative which aims to provide footballing opportunities for all. Ability Counts caters for participants aged 5-16, and Shooters 16+.

Many players who take part live with conditions including autism, Asperger’s and ADHD so the sessions are designed to provide a safe environment for physical activity.

Impairment specific sessions are offered to players with Down’s Syndrome through the nationwide DS Active network, which provides the opportunities for players of all ages to take part in football with their families and play other teams from across the country.

There are also specific coaching opportunities for players with Cerebral Palsy which are ran in conjunction with the FA Talent Disability Hub where gifted younger players are invited to train.

Visually Impaired sessions also provide the chance for partially sighted players to take part in football activities. Again, skilled youngsters may be invited into our Talent Hub.

Beyond playing, the Community Trust team also provide matchday opportunities for those with additional needs in Pride Park’s Sensory Room.

Over 2020 activity has been delivered safely in line with restrictions and virtually when physical sessions have not been possible. The Community Trust’s Talent Hub has been extended across 2021 and they hope to build on past success, including several England call-ups.

For more information about any of Derby County Community Trust’s Disability sessions, please see derbycountycommunitytrust.com.