Para Football and CAFE teaming up for access and inclusion
- 01 September 2021
Today Para Football and the Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) are announcing our cooperation to raise awareness and empower disabled people/persons with disabilities/ within football and society.
CAFE is working with disabled fans and stakeholders across the industry, empowering them to take their rightful places at the heart of live sport, and to make positive and inclusive change in their local clubs, national leagues and global tournaments. CAFE’s aim is to ensure everyone has equal opportunities to contribute to the sporting industry across all levels, harnessing the power of sport to act as a catalyst for disability-inclusive change in wider society. CAFE uses #TotalAccess as its focus, working on the quality of experience as well as the removal of societal barriers encountered by disabled people.
CAFE Managing Director, Joanna Deagle says:
"We are proud to be working with our friends at Para Football to further support disabled people’s rights across football. Our vision is a world where disabled people are a key part of the global sporting landscape, as fans, employees, volunteers and leaders, so that everyone can take part in an accessible, inclusive and welcoming environment.
Together, with Para Football's experience and knowledge in creating opportunities for participation, our goal is to make sure that disabled people can enjoy an equal experience and access to all roles within the game."
CAFE’s not-for-profit Foundation, (Stichting CAFE) registered in the Netherlands, works alongside CAFE with a shared mission of removing barriers faced by disabled people within society using sport as a catalyst for disability-inclusive change. Working with like-minded partners such as Para Football, Stichting CAFE will develop toolkits and resources to support disabled people in seeking employment and volunteering opportunities within the sport industry. Stichting CAFE collaborate with stakeholders in all areas of live sport to create new pathways for employment for disabled people. Their work makes a real, tangible difference to disabled people wanting an equal chance to work in live sport, while also helping clubs and associations to reap the business and social benefits of being actively inclusive.
Para Football works with national football associations/federations to develop inclusive opportunities in football at world, regional and national levels. Supporting the creation of connected, sustainable and player-centred national programmes, Para Football brings together experienced individuals and partners to provide high quality support and guidance tailored to each country and football association.
It is Para Football’s mission to ‘Ensure opportunity for persons with disabilities to participate on an equal basis with others in football’. Para Football’s Steering Board, made up of the international federations governing the different types of football for persons with disabilities, ensures a united approach to develop and provide football for all.
Para Football co-founder, Sam Turner says:
“In establishing Para Football, we have set ourselves an ambitious plan to make football a place where persons with disabilities feel they are respected, valued, they belong and that they matter. Football is a team sport and that is why signing key players like CAFE, who are committed to achieving the same goals, is crucial to our success. Together we will work for ‘total access’ to the beautiful game, ensuring the all is in football.”
This partnership will bring together CAFE’s vision of ‘#'TotalAccess’ and that of Para Football, ‘Football for all persons with disabilities’, to ensure football is a positive place where persons with disabilities/disabled people can access and feel included in the sport they love.
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