Nantwich based disability firm Direct Access has renewed its commitment to sponsoring local vision-impaired football team, Nantwich Town Disability Football Club, after initially becoming sponsors back in 2019 when the club went by the name Nantwich Town Wolves VIFC.

Over the past two years the bond between Direct Access and the club has only grown stronger, as has our admiration. We have witnessed first-hand the team’s exponential expansion in popularity as the training sessions introduced football to growing numbers of blind people in the Nantwich community.

In addition to sponsoring the Nantwich Town Disability FC team which provides fresh kits, equipment, and facilities, Direct Access has committed to sponsorship of the clubs’ youth PAN disability football training sessions aimed at young disabled people under 16, and their Nantwich Cubs sessions for children.

Our founder, Steven Mifsud, remarks “The community spirit of the Wolves and what they’ve been able to offer disabled people in Direct Access’ hometown of Nantwich is amazing, and the fact they’re all fantastic players is a great bonus. We’re truly honoured to be backing the club for the foreseeable future”.

Established first, the adult PAN disability sessions run on a Friday Night at Malbank Sports Hall from 19.00-20.00, running for close to two years. The Wolves cater for all recognised disabilities, and currently welcome individuals with learning disabilities, visual impairments, autism, hearing impairments and cerebral palsy. Each week they are joined by 15 regulars at this session.

Direct Access founder Steven Mifsud and operations director Steve Dering hold up a Nantwich Town Wolves VIFC shirt with team captain Craig Acton
Steven Mifsud MBE holding a football with the Direct Access logo on it alongside three members of the Nantwich Town Wolves Vision Impaired Football Club

The PAN youth disability sessions are a very new venture for the club. The decision came about as a parent approached, asking if their 13 year old visually impaired son could be involved in the visually impaired team in any way. As things stood at the time, the Wolves had to turn him away, as at that time we only catered for ages 16+.

This sat heavily on the heart of secretary and treasurer Keir Welch, for the remainder of the week, and as a committee, decided that it wasn’t right that there was such a lack of facilities and opportunities for young people with disabilities, and within the week secured a session slot with Nantwich Town FC with youth PAN sessions growing weekly from that point. They welcome approximately 14 regulars to these sessions weekly. These sessions run every Sunday afternoon from 16.00-17.00.

On the renewed sponsorship, Keir had this to say;

“When we were first approached by Steven Mifsud from Direct Access to sponsor our visually impaired football team, the acceptance and partnership was a no brainier for us. It just made sense for us to be affiliated with a company who’s aim is to improve accessibility throughout all aspects of life. During the pandemic we as a team used that time to grow and develop into much more and offer more to a wider range of disabilities other than just those living with sight loss.

We now, in partnership with Nantwich Town FC, offer weekly sessions for both adult PAN disability, and youth PAN disability. The renewed sponsorship with DA means we can continue offering these sessions for free, but it also allows us to purchase team-wear, equipment and put our volunteer coaches through qualifications, so that those attending the sessions get the most from it as they possibly can.

We can also continue to compete across the country with our visually impaired team, and spend more time, and put more effort into growth and development, rather than worrying about fundraising and remaining financially stable as an independent club.

We were thrilled that the Direct Access team were just as excited about our new ventures as we are, and are so pleased that they agreed to join us on this exciting journey”.

For more information, check out the Nantwich Town Disabilty FC Facebook page and drop them a like!

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