The Diamond Foundation invites aspiring footballers from the Health and Social Care system

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The Diamond Foundation invites aspiring footballers from the Health and Social Care system to play at the FA’s world renowned St George’s Park National Football Centre

Budding footballers involved in the Health and Social Care system including individuals living with mental health issues and mild learning disabilities are being given the opportunity to sign up for a 6-a-side football tournament, supported by the FA and sanctioned by the Special Olympics GB.

The Diamond Foundation is calling on all football loving individuals to join the tournament and play on September 23rd at St George’s Park, the English Football Association’s National Football Centre in Burton-upon Trent. The Diamond Foundation is looking for males over the age of 16 who are able bodied and have the capacity to understand the rules of the game and the personal risk involved.

Josh Butler and Jonathan Ralphs, founders of The Diamond Foundation, share a passion for helping people and would like to develop a platform where individuals involved in the Health and Social Care system can develop new skills, make new friends and build their confidence by getting involved in sporting activities within their local community.

They are looking to build on the work they have already done, and deliver an “inclusive” football tournament which will include newly formed teams and existing teams from around the region, for what is sure to be an amazing experience for everyone involved. The aim of the tournament is to enable participants to play in a safe yet competitive environment and to develop new skills and build their confidence then take their newly found skills and apply them to other areas of their life.

Jonathan said: “We’ve been given a fantastic opportunity to play at the home ground of the English Football Association. It’ll be a really proud moment for the lads when they run out onto the pitch and one that they will never forget. Not only will they improve their fitness, but they’ll also form new friendships with people sharing the same interest in sport.”

Josh and Jonathan were recently awarded the National Learning Disability Awards – Sporting Chance Award 2017 for the work they have done running an “inclusive” 6-a-side football team named the Doxey Diamonds, which entered the mainstream Stafford PowerPlay league. Here’s what the judges had to say about the Doxey Diamonds:

“The team had a dream, to bring mainstream football to those that they support. It seems simple – it was not – but not only did they do it, they ended up as 3rd in the local league – this meant momentous changes for the people that use their services, even more for the player that scored the “hat trick” and the other who believes “everyone shines like a diamond in different ways” – how true – very worthy winners!”

Following on from the tournament, The Diamond Foundation will be working in partnership with the Staffordshire FA and the Stoke City FC Community Trust, to develop a framework of sporting activities and events which aim to increase the level of engagement in sporting activities in the local community, from individuals involved in the Health and Social Care system.

Registration for the tournament is now open and will close on 1 September 2017. Please go to www.thediamondfoundation.net for more information and to register a team, or alternatively call Jonathan Ralphs on 07530 710720.

The Diamond Foundation are currently seeking sponsorship and have already secured Stephen Hirst – S.P.H Maintenance and Foundation Nail & Beauty Academy – @FoundationsBeauty as Team Sponsors for the tournament. There are currently 3 packages available: Main Event Sponsor, Team Sponsor and Trophy Sponsor. For more information on the available packages, please visit www.thediamondfoundation.net/sponsorship or alternatively call Josh Butler on 07375 420037.