A YOUTH football club will celebrate its second birthday and announce its newest team for children with special needs at an open day.
Fareham Town Football Club Mini Soccer team will launch its new team Apollo Stars tomorrow.
The mini-soccer team was started two years ago and has faced a battle to raise £10,000 to improve its facilities and upgrade its equipment.
Chairman Barry Cook said: ‘Everything is now in place.
‘The club has over 80 children playing every week and the cherry on the cake is to be able to offer football to children with special needs. We want to do this so that we can offer grassroots football to all the children in Fareham.’
The club has more than 10 teams that play every Saturday morning and Tuesday evening at Fareham Town FC at Cams Alders, ranging from four years old to 12.
Barry said that the club would name the new team Apollo Stars.
He said: ‘This is the first team that I know of in the area for children with special needs.
‘One of my daughter’s friends had a little boy who was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome. When he was about two years old, I bought him a football and he loved it.
‘Then my grandson came along who was diagnosed with autism, so I fully appreciate how much of a commitment it is to look after children with special needs, but it’s so important that they are included in football too.’
‘I always felt that it was wrong that there was nowhere for children with special needs to get access to proper football training, which teaches them so much, such as control and leadership.’
The open day will be held tomorrow with a free training session for children with special needs.
The session starts at 10am, with the Apollo Stars session starting at 10.30am.
Barry said: ‘The team is open to boys and girls.
‘If just a handful of children turn up, I would be delighted.’
For further details contact Barry on 07768 158596.