New Brandon football team offers opportunities for inclusive sport

Posted: 11 March 2024

Autistic people and people with a learning disability in Cornwall, now have increased opportunities for inclusive sport, thanks to Brandon Trust Football Club.

Brandon Trust football team

In this article:

  • Why was a football team created?
  • Brandon Trust FC’s first football festival
  • Future plans and ambitions
  • How to get involved

Why was a football team created?

In September 2023, one of Brandon’s team leaders, Rory, started working in a new location in Cornwall. Soon afterwards, one of the young men he was supporting, Kieran, discovered that Rory played football.

Kieran is also a keen footballer and he invited Rory to go and watch him play in the Cornwall Disability Football League Festival. A few days later, they were discussing the weekend’s football festival. It turned out that although it’s an hour-long journey each way, it was actually Kieran’s closest team and the reason he travelled so far is simply because he loves playing football.

It was during this conversation that Kieran asked a simple question; “Can we create a Brandon Trust team?”

Wasting no time, Rory set up a football hub. Based at Newquay Sports Centre, the weekly hub quickly became popular. People supported by Brandon, and the people close to them, come to play football and support the team.

Kieran shows off the new Brandon Trust football kit

Within weeks of starting the hub, Brandon Trust FC was formed! The newly formed football team is now affiliated with the Football Association (FA).

Brandon Trust FC is led by Kieran (captain), and Alex (coach and kit manager), who both have a learning disability and are supported by Brandon. They have worked hard to recruit players and source a new kit, and Kieran has big plans for the team.

Rory explains that he is simply there to help out; Kieran is the driving force behind the team.

“Kieran has been a pioneer in the development of the team and continues to remind me why people play football – simply because they love it. Kieran doesn’t see barriers, he sees opportunities,” says Rory.

Brandon Trust FC’s first football festival

The team now competes in the Cornwall Disability Football League, a monthly festival of football, in which Brandon Trust FC play against other disability teams from across the county.

At their first festival, Brandon Trust FC had a fantastic time. The day was full of competitive, inclusive football, cheered on by more people we support in the area, members of staff, and families and friends.

Kieran said: “I feel privileged, proud, and thrilled. I love making new friends and being part of a team. I’m still pretty shocked that it is all happening, if I’m honest!”

Speaking about the momentous day, Rory said: “A massive shout out to Kieran, who scored our first goal which saw everyone cheer and run down the touchline, fist- bumping the crowd. It’s a memory which will stay with me and, I’m sure, Kieran, for a long time.

“I also want to say a special thank you to Rachel Mellor, for her support with the project, and her daughter, Izzy, who has been volunteering as part of her Duke of Edinburgh award.”

Future plans and ambitions

Rory also recently had the opportunity to meet with the Cornwall Football Association (FA), who were looking for help to build awareness of, promote, and grow disability football in the area.

“I have been accepted to join Cornwall FA’s Inclusion and Advisory Group, who advise the FA on creating a more inclusive environment for people to participate across our footballing communities.

“We are building a partnership and we have big ambitions for the future!”

How to get involved

If you would like to play football for Brandon Trust FC, you need to be in receipt of Brandon support. Please speak with your support team and they can put you in touch with Rory or Rachel.

You do not need to have Brandon support to play at the weekly hub in Newquay. Everyone is welcome. Come along and see what you think.

  • Day: Monday
  • Time: 4.30 – 5.30pm
  • Location: Newquay Sports Centre
  • Cost: £3 per person, per session

Want to get involved?

If you are not supported by Brandon but you want to play for a team in the monthly festival, come to the Newquay hub and we’ll put you in touch with an affiliated team.

For more information or if you have any questions, please email Rory.

Get in touch

Speak to our friendly team to find out more about our support services, jobs, fundraising and volunteering opportunities and how we can support your organisation.

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