Premier League/BT Disability

Middlesbrough FC scholar helping a child

MFC Foundation’s Premier League/BT Disability project provides opportunities for people across the Tees Valley that have a range of disabilities, including but not restricted to, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, autism and mental health.

MFC Foundation have been engaging people through disability provision since 2014, but recent funding from the Premier League and BT Sport Disability Fund has invigorated the project and as a result has allowed for an increase in the provision and support that this project offers. The PL and BT sport initiative is a three year programme that is designed to inspire and engage disabled people through sport across these four key programme areas:

  • Sport
  • Inclusion
  • Engagement
  • Events

Furthermore, this initiative has identified that disabled people are half as likely to participate in sports as able bodied people, and through MFC Foundations targeted delivery we aim to remove the barriers relating to opportunities and accessibility for disabled people to increase participation.

Key partnerships with local organisations such as Tees Valley Sport and North Riding County FA, among others, are crucial in the development of the project in achieving the strategic aims of community engagement, programme development and delivery, events, and training. This is also supported by the Tees Valley Disability Sports Forum that maps out disability sport in the region to identify current provision and opportunities for potential participants, as well as highlighting the need for new disability specific delivery in areas across the region.

Since September 2016, MFC Foundation’s PL Inclusion project is on course to engage 500+ disabled people within the year, in sport and physical activity, through numerous multi-sport and football specific sessions. This has been achieved through delivery and support at local schools, colleges, community groups and clubs, which has culminated in successful events such as festivals and tournaments that have highlighted and celebrated the success of everyone involved.

We currently run the following sessions during school times:

Acorn Centre

  • Cerebral Palsy: Tuesday 4.45pm – 5.45pm
  • Deaf & Hard of hearing: Tuesday 5.45pm – 6.45pm
  • Pan-Disability (All disabilities): Wednesday 4.45pm – 5.45pm
  • Downs Syndrome: Wednesday 5.45pm – 6.45pm

Contact Lee on lee.grace@mfcfoundation.co.uk or 01642 757674


MFC Foundation Join Daughters And Dads Active And Empowered Project

We’re delighted to announce we will be part of the Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered project for the next two years.

Women in Sport, in partnership with the Fatherhood Institute, EFL Trust and the University of Newcastle (Australia), is excited to announce that we are the latest to join a growing band supporting this initiative.

We’ll join Leyton Orient Trust, The Albion Foundation (West Bromwich Albion), Foundation of Light (Sunderland AFC) and the Stoke City Community Trust for year two of the project, alongside Fulham FC Foundation, who were part of the project’s inaugural pilot year.

In total, six clubs will deliver the programme for the next two years, supported by Sport England’s Families Fund through National Lottery funding.

The Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered programme has been developed by the University of Newcastle (Australia) and Professor Philip Morgan and his team.

The programme aims to increase physical activity levels, sports skills and social-emotional wellbeing of girls 5-11 years by challenging stereotypes about playing sport and physical activity and increase fathers’ confidence and ability to act as role models in relation to their daughter’s participation.

Rachel Horsley, Girls Football Lead Officer here at MFC Foundation, said: The philosophy behind the programme is very much in keeping with many of our own. We reach across the area with many programmes, but this one is just that little bit different. Programmes like Daughters and Dads help everyone come together, not just the dads and their daughters. Some find it easier than others to show their feelings, or to actively support and encourage. This programme helps on so many levels. It helps emotionally and physically and brings an understanding that the two work together – just like dads and their daughters.”

Eleven families took part in the project’s inaugural year, and the programme had a great impact on those that took part.  Initial findings suggest:

  • Father and father-figures on the programme mentioned growing a stronger bond with their daughters and suggested they would increase the amount of family activity they do as a result of taking part.
  • All the girls that took part in the project showed a strong belief that girls are just as capable as boys at physical activity and should be able to enjoy the same opportunities, both individually and with their family.

Women in Sport and the project partners will explore these initial findings in greater depth with a larger sample size to understand any significant impact in year two and three.

Lee Warren, Innovation Manager for the DAD Project, said: We’re delighted to have five new clubs involved in this project for the next two years alongside continuing our partnership with Fulham who have built strong foundations. We’ve already started to see the impact that the Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered programme can have on its participants and the long-term lifestyle changes that it can deliver. We’re looking forward to seeing these clubs support more families in their local communities to get active.”

Mike Diaper, Executive Director Children, Young People and Tackling Inactivity, at Sport England said: Following a successful first year of testing the Daughters and Dads programme, we are really pleased that our National Lottery investment can now help to extend its reach into new areas across England.   We know that we need to continue to do more to help girls and less affluent families get active, and one thing that hinders this are gender stereotypes that can cause families to believe that physical activity is less important for girls than boys.  We also know that parents and carers often see their role as helpers and less as role models in encouraging their children to be active. This programme, based on a model from Australia, is addressing these challenges and we look forward to seeing the results of this in the North East, West Midlands and London.”

For more information on the Research and Advice Service and Women in Sport’s work visit www.womeninsport.org.