Albion in the Community (AITC), Brighton & Hove Albion’s (BHAFC) official charity, held a free football day for people with Down’s syndrome earlier this month (Thursday, 18 April 2019), at the Community Pitch at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, Lancing. More than 40 people of all ages and abilities attended the annual event, funded by AITC’s partner American Express. The day provided local people with Down’s syndrome the opportunity to take part in competitive football and showcase their talent.
The event included a range of football activities, fun football drills and a tournament in the afternoon. FA qualified coaches from AITC were supported by 15 Amex colleagues who helped with the smooth running of the day and assisted as coaches and match officials. Participants received a surprise visit from BHAFC winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh and club mascot Gully, who dropped by to provide encouragement. Many of the players train together as Brighton & Hove Albion Down’s Syndrome FC (BHADSFC) and a group attended from The Burnside Day Centre in Burgess Hill. All participants received a medal for taking part in the day. Leo Farrage from Lindfield, Haywards Heath, Tim Collins from Worthing and Archie Little from Littlehampton received Player of the Day awards. AITC runs fortnightly football sessions for people with Down’s syndrome at the Amex Training Ground. For more information on how to take part email:firstname.lastname@example.org