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Story added: 10th August 2021

Seven teams join our Canaries at The Nest for Canary Cup

Ahead of the start of the Premier League season, the Community Sports Foundation’s young pan-disability team played host to teams from across the country last Monday for the charity’s annual Canary Cup.

Joining the Canaries at The Nest – the Foundation’s facility in the north of Norwich – were representative teams from Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion.

The teams, made up of pan-disability participants aged between 12 and 16, enjoyed a round-robin tournament across the morning, the mood only slightly dampened by persistent rain.

Thankfully, the rain stopped and the sun came out for the knockout stages in the afternoon, as the teams were whittled down to a final two: West Bromwich Albion and Wolves. Black Country bragging rights eventually went to the Baggies, with the help of a penalty shoot-out.

For many of the participants, it was their first tournament action since the outbreak of the pandemic last March.

Darren Hunter, the Foundation’s Disability Development Manager, said:

“After such a disrupted year and a half, it was fantastic to welcome young people from across the country to The Nest. The games were competitive, fast and very entertaining for all our spectators – you wouldn’t have known that for most of our teams it was their first matches together in a long time.”

“These tournaments are so important for building confidence, creating bonds, and allowing the players to show everyone what they can do, whatever their impairment is. That they can do all that while representing and wearing the shirt of their club is an added bonus.”

He continued: “I’m particularly proud of our two teams who represented the Canaries so well – they were great hosts and made all the visiting teams feel really welcome!”

The Foundation’s programmes for people with disabilities are only possible thanks to vital fundraising (including our ongoing Win a Lotus campaign), which is matched by the Premier League Charitable Fund. There are a host of free weekly and holiday football sessions for children and adults with disabilities. These include pan-disability sessions, as well as impairment specific sessions (Cerebral Palsy, Hearing impaired and Visually impaired/blind).

"I’m particularly proud of our two teams who represented the Canaries so well – they were great hosts and made all the visiting teams feel really welcome!"

Darren Hunter

Disability Development Manager

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