Down’s syndrome soccer project gets £560 cash boost

Finance professionals have raised more than £500 for a soccer project in Dorset for youngsters with Down’s syndrome.

Accountancy firm PKF Francis Clark and NatWest’s Dorset Commercial & Corporate Banking team joined forces to stage a walking football contest.

Three seven-strong teams took part, raising a total of £560 for the DSActive football project.

The national DSActive sports programme is administered by the Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA).

In Poole, coaches from Longfleet Youth Football Club run monthly soccer sessions for youngsters aged four years-plus with Down’s syndrome.

More than 30 young people and adults have registered for the sessions which are held at Carter Community College. Additional summer sessions for older age groups take place at Branksome Heath Junior School.

Such has been the success of the scheme that Longfleet Youth FC – the first voluntary community club in the UK to launch regular DSActive football sessions – has formed three separate age groups.

PKF Francis Clark Partner James Robinson said: “It’s a brilliant cause and the enthusiasm of the youngsters and coaches taking part is infectious.”

Jason Burgess, Business Development Director, NatWest Commercial & Corporate Banking in Dorset and Hampshire, added: “I am very lucky to see first-hand how these sessions help and support the development of all the youngsters involved in DS Active. We look forward to continuing our support in the future.”

Beverley Bowers, Longfleet Youth FC DSActive Project Coordinator, said the £560 would pay for the hire of a coach to take team members to Arsenal FC’s Emirates Stadium for a tour and also a training session with the club’s disability team.

She added: “We rely totally for our funding on contributions and donations so we can’t thank PKF Francis Clark and NatWest enough for their support and generosity.”

DSActive currently have over 40 football sessions and 20 tennis programmes running across England and Wales.

All of the programmes are easily accessible and cater for all ages and ability.

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