Blue may be the colour at Chelsea, but it’s also the place to be on a Friday evening if you’re blind or partially sighted and love playing football.
Jonathan Tear found this out when he went along to the new Surrey County FA Visually Impaired (V.I.) Hub club at the Chelsea training ground in Cobham earlier this year.
“As a life long Liverpool supporter, the thought of playing football behind enemy lines was almost too much to bear. But I was in for a pleasant surprise when I turned up one Friday evening in early January at the Chelsea training ground in Cobham for the first of their V.I. Hub club coaching sessions.”
The Surrey County FA V.I. Hub club has been established in partnership with Chelsea FC Foundation’s wider pan disability provision and the center is for all ages and ability levels.
Jonathan Tear said:
“As someone who is partially sighted and played a lot of football in my youth, the opportunity to put my boots back on again and relive the glory days was too much to resist! Despite being a little rusty, I survived being put through my paces by a team of professional coaches who clearly understood my needs as a partially sighted footballer. I was particularly struck by the positive ‘can do’ approach to the whole set up and the way in which the coaches encouraged and supported everyone, irrespective of their ability level, to try their best.”
Jonathan also chatted to Alan Browne whose 12 year old son Rupert has started attending the club.
“He told me Rupert really enjoys the coaching sessions, and that it’s improved both his fitness & his self-confidence.
Clearly its early days for Chelsea in terms of developing this type of provision, but based on my own personal experience of the last few weeks, this is something not to be missed if you enjoy playing football and want to improve your game.”
Adds Jonathan, now a regular partaker at the Surrey County FA V.I. Hub club.
For further details, please contact Rob Seale (Football+ Development Officer) on 07949 144562 or e-mail him at [email protected]