‘Our special needs football team needs volunteers to coach’

GAME ON Coach Barry Cook with some of the youngsters who went to an open day for the Apollo Stars. Picture: Paul Jacobs (131485-1)
GAME ON Coach Barry Cook with some of the youngsters who went to an open day for the Apollo Stars. Picture: Paul Jacobs (131485-1)
Police at the scene near Waddesdon 810054fd-364c-4ef5-84d3-89d35d70

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OUR new team Apollo Stars is doing so well, it really makes my heart sing.

The team has been specially created for children with special needs, so that Fareham Town Football Club could offer football to every child who wants to play.

We already run our Mini Soccer team, which is also going well, but we wanted to include everybody.

I know from personal experience, as my grandson was diagnosed with autism, the positive influence that playing football can have on a child.

We now have 15 children playing in the Apollo Stars team every week and would love to be able to take on more, and also include children with severe learning difficulties who need one-on-one coaching. The problem is that doing so requires more volunteers to assist on the training days.

Every day I get phone calls from people interested in joining and some of the parents are amazing and come down and help out.

One of the mothers, who has a severely autistic son, brought him down to the club week after week so that he could just watch and build up the confidence to join in.

Eventually, after a one-on-one session with myself, he kicked his first football.

To see him kick that ball was amazing, I had tears in my eyes.

His dad was over the moon and said that he never thought he would see his boy play football.

We’ve still got a long way to go, but that confirmed to me that we need more volunteers to spend more time providing quality coaching.

It means so much to the children and their families.

Anybody who thinks they can spare a few hours every Saturday morning please get in touch on 07768 158596.