We’re pleased to introduce Lincolnshire FA's Disability Football Ambassador, Jason Land. He's spoken to us about his journey through grassroots football, his experience and commitment to ensuring football is a safe, enjoyable, and inclusive space for all, and what his role entails.
Jason, 41, is from Grimsby where he works as the Disability & Inclusion Lead at Grimsby Town Foundation. He has a visual impairment, which he tells us he developed as a teenager.
Jason has been involved in disability football for over 20 years, as a player in the visually impaired National Football League, playing for teams such as Loughborough, Merseyside and RNC Hereford. He has also received several England caps playing for the first ever England Pan-Disability team and England Visually Impaired team.
Jason has played for, and now coaches, the pan-disability team with Grimsby Town FC's Ability Counts side, as well as being a Committee Member and Director of Football for the club. To add to this impressive résumé, he is also Vice Chair of the Lincolnshire Ability Counts Football League, which is an open age pan-disability football league.
"The benefits of creating a new football provision for people with disabilities is not just only about more people playing the game, but opening more opportunities for people to be involved in football at all levels, a deeper inside at a committee level, coaching opportunities as well as voluntary opportunities. Also, it’s a chance for your football club to become more involved and be able to give something back to your local community and community groups." Jason tells us.
"It is important for clubs to create new opportunities for people with disabilities to become more inclusive and offer the opportunity for more people to play the beautiful game."
Jason was appointed as Lincolnshire FA's Disability Football Ambassador in February 2023, with his responsibility being to support 2 and 3 star England Accredited Clubs to apply the key learnings from the Disability Club Training to create their own Disability Football Game Plan. He'll be supporting the clubs to implement this Game Plan in order to provide more club-based opportunities for disabled people to play, coach and/or volunteer.
Jason will also support clubs to build and sustain relationships with relevant local partners such as charitable organisations, disability support groups, educational establishments, alongside other key partners to promote the new opportunities.
"There is lots of support available for clubs whom are wanting to start delivering disability football such as club training from the FA, a disability tool kit to help support clubs, County Disability football officers, and Disability Ambassadors. Other clubs are already reaping the rewards from being inclusive of disabled players, coaches, and volunteers."
Jordan Mason, Football Development Officer (Disability & Inclusion) at Lincolnshire FA, said: "Jason is a fantastic addition to the workforce as we look to develop disability football. The County FA is privileged to be able to work alongside someone with such a vast amount of experience with the disability game, and I can't wait to see the impact Jason has across the County"
To find out more about Disability Football opportunities in Lincolnshire, click here
For more information on Disability Training for Clubs, click here
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