Football Your Way: Plan launched to increase disability football participation by 50% by 2024

According to FA research, only 4.5% of England's disabled people play football.
Under a new plan, the Football Association aims to increase the number playing disability football by half in three years.

Football Your Way aims to provide 2,800 opportunities in the game and increase awareness of disabilities.

Edleen John, director of equality diversity and inclusion at the FA, said that it would take time.

"Women's soccer was at a certain point 10 years ago. We saw progress and are now looking for the same."

4.5% of people with disabilities currently play football. John, who co-leads the program with Baroness Sue Campbell (FA's director for women's football), wants to see this figure rise among elite and casual players.

Within three years, the plan is to see a 25% increase of players in England's para teams.

"We are bringing everything together for first time. We're getting to a better place internally and in terms participation, coaching, and playing. John said that we will then reassess and create a bigger strategy with greater ambitions.

"It is crucial to approach this in such a way that people understand the needs and builds it slowly so that it is sustainable, effective and not just a flash in the pan.

"We need to ensure that we have the support systems and quality coaches in place to help develop teams. This must be improved over the next three-years."

John stated that the FA would continue its progress past 2024.

She stated that she would like to see disability football be elevated and visible, as well as have the same financial investment made in other formats. It is a commitment that we will continue to push this plan forward.

"Players at the elite levels are role models"

John hopes that the launch will promote elite England disabled players in a similar manner to senior men's or women's team.

She stated that players at the elite level should be recognized as role models for society, just as players from other areas of football. This visibility must be maintained.

"It is all about how we can show that to our men's, women's, and various disability teams.

"We need to make it easier for elite athletes to recognize and understand that badge. We must do more to spread those messages and give them that platform."

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