Everton Football Club’s Match Of Action will take place tonight at Goodison Park when Tony Pulis’ West Bromwich Albion visit the home of the Blues.
Everton’s support of Kick it Out is complemented by the work of Everton in the Community and all year round, the Blues’ official charity works with Kick It Out, and other leading organisations, to encourage equality and diversity across Merseyside.
In the build-up to the game evertonfc.com has taken an in-depth look at the work that Everton and the Club’s official charity does to encompass all six areas of diversity and today the focus is on Disability.
Everton in the Community’s Disability programme is one of the largest and most respected in the world and provides football and physical activity opportunities for thousands of disabled children and adults each year.
Using the power of sport, the charity engaged with dozens of disabled every single year. There are currently 13 successful disability teams representing Everton, fielding over 12 players who have gone onto to represent their country at international level.
Coverage of the on-field success of each and every Disability team representing the Club has been the subject of a weekly article to the city of Liverpool’s local paper, the Echo, which details the fortunes of the teams every Monday.
The 2014 Disability Awards were quite simply the biggest to date. The annual event, which was staged in Stanley Park’s Isla Galdstone Conservatory in 2014, welcomed Everton manager Roberto Martinez was joined by first team players John Stones and Conor McAleny and Blues legend Graeme Sharp. The quartet awarded trophies for Players’ Player of the Year and Manager’s Player of the Year to participants from the Club’s official charity’s world-renowned initiative.
Stones and McAleny then took their places on stage to present medals of achievement to each participant from the nine teams in attendance before the Toffees’ leading post-war goalscorer Sharp gave out the final awards of the evening in the Special Recognition category.
The Club’s official charity’s Medicash Powered Wheelchair football team were the recent recipients of a 12-month sponsorship package worth £1,500 courtesy of the James Greenop Foundation.
From its early origins of an after schools’ club in Liverpool’s Sandfield Park, to being founder members of the League in 2009, the Powered Wheelchair team has been in existence since 2007 and has accommodated almost 40 players since its inception.
Following a successful 2013/14 season in the North West Powered Wheelchair League, the Blues have been enjoying their first campaign competing in their first ever National League campaign.
Speaking of the gesture made by the James Greenop Foundation, the charity’s founder and Everton in the Community volunteer, Russell Greenop said: “Having had the privilege of working with Everton in the Community and seeing all the fantastic work it does and the amount of people it helps on a daily basis, why wouldn’t you want to help.”
Everton in the Community’s programme is all inclusive with teams catering for disabilities including learning, physical, reduced stature, autism, cerebral palsy, deaf and partially sighted. The initiative also offers entry to work placements and job opportunities.