AFL Europe are excited to announce a new partnership with Disability Sports Coach.
Disability Sports Coach (DSC) is a charity that provides award-winning sport and physical activity opportunities for all disabled people.
With support from AFL London and its clubs, the partnership launched as part of DSC’s Inclusive Summer of Sports, which included the Wandsworth Paralympic Festival on Tuesday, August 3rd and Tuesday, August 10th.
The event, delivered by Disability Sports Coach with Enable, reached over 60 disabled people in South London.
At the festival, the team at AFL Europe were joined by players from the Wandsworth Demons as well as DSC Board Member and London Swans player, Adrian Hulston, to teach and share Australian Football to the participants.
Managing Director of AFL Europe, Ryan Davey, shared his delight about the new partnership with Disability Sports Coach and getting involved in the festival.
“AFL Europe has always prided ourselves on the fact that Australian Football is an inclusive sport that can be played by anyone,” said Davey.
“It is for this reason, and many others, that we are thrilled to launch this partnership with Disability Sports Coach.
“The Wandsworth Paralympic Festival was an incredible experience and AFL Europe were honoured to play a small part of it.
“There were over 60 people in attendance and despite the fact that no one had played Australian Football previously, everyone had a smile on their face and had lots of fun. Everyone wanted to know when the next AFL session would be and it is great to know that these sessions can long continue.”
AFL Europe are committed to ensuring people of all ages, and varying abilities, have the opportunity to play Australian Football and feel supported within the AFL Europe community.
“We have been eager to develop a blueprint for an AFL inclusion program that can be replicated all over Europe and we believe that we now have that blueprint,” said Davey.
“Disability Sports Coach has multiple clubs located all across London, therefore an opportunity exists for all AFL London teams, such as the Wandsworth Demons, who were with us for the festival, to get involved with DSC and help to deliver Australian Football programs to their clubs.
“We look forward to working with AFL clubs all over Europe to help them build connections with organisations similar to Disability Sports Coach and we will provide as many resources as possible to ensure everyone has an opportunity to play this great game.”
We’re pleased to hear the sport was a hit amongst all participants, as shared by Emma Cranston, Project Officer-South & East London for DSC.
“Australian Football has been a real highlight of our Wandsworth Paralympic Festival,” said Cranston.
“Nearly all participants tried the sport for the first time, and many are already asking to play the sport again. The AFL coaches delivered highly energetic and engaging sessions which were inclusive for all.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with AFL Europe and bring more inclusive AFL sessions to Wandsworth and beyond.”
AFL Europe will work with AFL Governing Bodies around Europe to establish more partnerships to ensure AFL Inclusion Programs can be delivered in every country around Europe.
Disability Sports Coach is always seeking new sports coaches and volunteers. If you would like to get involved, please contact them here.
To learn more about DSC and their inclusive programs, click here.