Enfield Town’s disability side have started a crowdfunding campaign in an effort to raise fund for new kits and training gear. Player Development Project spoke with their Coach, Shane Tant, to find out more about the club and what they hope to achieve with their fundraising efforts.
Enfield Town Disability Football Club has been running for five years. It was set up with help from Enfield Town FC and funding from the Tottenham Hotspur FC Foundation, and now boasts a successful first team which plays in the Middlesex County PAN Disability League.
Players at the club range in age and disability level, from aspergers to autism and physical disabilities including players with leg problems which mean running at full speed is difficult. Working with people with disabilities has always been “a passion” for Coach Shane Tant, who speaks of relatives with disabilities who “I always wanted to be able to join in and feel wanted.”
Shane’s other big passion is football, and he has a soft spot for the non-league level. It was these joint passions that led to him working at the club, after he was in contact with a club representative on Facebook and was invited to play with the team. “I instantly fell in love with the team,” he says. “They all connected with each other and made me feel so welcome.”
After a few sessions, having built up a good working relationship with the team and coaching staff, Shane “put a few ideas across” which were taken up. This led to Shane being left in charge of the team for a month while the coaches went on their level 2 coaching course.
“Having played for a few teams before, I had a good understanding of how to run training sessions,” he explains, “and I knew all the players respected me and would listen to me.”
Over the last three years the club has become more established, finishing as runners-up in the 2015 Gladbecks Tournament and in third place in the 2015 Middlesex Pan Disability League County Cup. In 2012 they won the Special Olympics GB North London Trophy.
“We have also made contacts in Norway and Germany with other disability teams,” says Shane. “They are both coming over on the first weekend of October for a mini tournament with us.”
Despite good feeling at the club and the recent successes on the pitch, the team are in need of cash and regular sponsorship. Despite Enfield Town recently donating a minibus to help get the team to and from their tournament in Ruislip, there is still a need for good quality training equipment. Before now, Shane has bought bits and pieces himself in order to “keep the lads focused and improving.”
In order to attract financial support for the club, Shane and the team have started a crowdfunding appeal with a view to raising enough for new kit and training gear.
“I think it’s important to get disability football more well known and recognized,” says Shane. “These girls and guys are no different to anyone else and have so much to offer to the game.”
To donate, go to: https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/etdfc?utm_id=119