Shinfield Rangers is proud to have been hosting one of the Football Association’s BobiCats Disability Football Centres, on our state of art 3G training grounds at Ryeish Green Sports Hub, since the Spring of 2019. Thanks to the success of the sessions we expanded beyond the initial 10 weeks planned to become a permanent offering from our Club. We’ve won awards from Berks & Bucks FA and Get Berkshire Active, and also extended the age range to include children between the ages of 4 and 12 years.
Who are they for?
The sessions are for young children with disabilities, who are aged 4-12 years. More details will be provided when you get in touch (see below).
We welcome almost all children with physical or learning difficulties irrespective of skill or ability at football, or what disabilities they may have. However there are limitations to what we can offer in some circumstances due to the facilities. So, for example, wheelchairs would be a problem on the outdoor artificial pitch, but frames are fine. B1 Blind players would also be better placed in more specialised sessions than we can currently offer.
Some autistic children may struggle with the noise during the sessions in the gym due to the echos. And, as space is much more limited in the gym, it can be difficult to support children who easily lose attention.
What will happen?
We’ll provide the opportunity for young children to play regular, fun and engaging football in a safe and friendly environment using FA qualified coaches who volunteer to help coach children in our Club. We fully understand that not all children immediately engage in the coaching sessions, but we’ve had great success over the longer term with those who persist, so we try to encourage everyone to stick with it for several weeks to help their child settle in.
When are they and how much do they cost?
The outdoors sessions run from Spring to Autumn, each Sunday between 1-2pm, with a break over the school summer term . In the winter they will be in the Leisure Centre Gym and run once a month.
Thanks to funding from several sources, initially from the FA and Walkers Crisps/Tropicana, then most recently from the Co-op Community Fund, there are no charges for the sessions .
How to I join or how can I help?
If you are interested in joining in, know someone who can benefit, would like to help, or wish to sponsor us, then please email Toni Cannon here : ToniCannon@hotmail.co.uk or call her on
. You can also contact us through our contacts page on this site or via Facebook. If you need to know more about disability football in other locations or for other age groups then please contact Jonathan Coles at the FA, who is always keen to help (Development@Berks-BucksFA.com).