It has been another great year for the DS Active Rams, here are some testaments from parents on just how an opportunity to play football can have such a big impact.

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Jacob Smalley

It is difficult to put into words the positive impact it has had on my son Jacob. Jacob is 18, he has always gone to mainstream schools and is now at Derby College.

Having always enjoyed football, both watching it and having a kick around he had never experienced being part of a team or taken part in a competition. That all changed though when he got the opportunity to play for the DCCT DS Active Rams.

He is always excited to attend the training sessions and before any events we even have a countdown of sleeps beforehand, just as we do for Christmas!

The coaches Lauren and Stuart are always full of enthusiasm, passion and have worked wonders with the players throughout the year. Jacob enjoys it so much and is always very proud of himself when he pulls on the same shirt as the professionals. We as his family are so incredibly proud of him and the team.

 

Will Marshall

Like Jacob, Will absolutely loves attending the football sessions (as indeed do his sisters!). He really looks forward to the Friday evening training sessions to play and meet up with his new friends.

As a big football fan, the Derby County Community Trust has given him the chance to take an active part in the sport, with his peers, which has always been difficult in the past. The exercise and teamwork has really done him some good and his confidence and social interaction has improved enormously.

What’s different about the DS Active Rams is that female players are encouraged to partake in training on the same evening as the boys, allowing for both groups to mix socially in a natural environment, unlike the somewhat staged DS activities we go to like Discos and outings.

Having Downs Syndrome can mean that the individual is often on the outside looking in rather than being part of what is going on. The training and matches allow all the players to be fully involved and part of something. It makes them feel important and valued. Everyone has dreams, hopes and aspirations and this programme helps them to achieve these as well as helping with fitness levels and general health.

So on behalf of all the people who are part of the weekly training sessions and the parent’s thank you for your support and long may the success continue.

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