Weston-super-Mare AFC have announced a new partnership with Weston Ability Football Club, supported by the newly relaunched Seagull in the Community.

Weston Abillity FC is a club that was set up for adults and children with disabilities, SEND, or any other additional needs, to help them get involved with the often-inaccessible sport of football.

The team was established in 2014 and offers an inclusive environment for budding footballers aged seven and upwards, giving those with disabilities the chance to build confidence and independence, make new friendships, and get involved in a welcoming community through football.

Weston Ability currently have 50 players on the books, all trained by fully qualified coaches, and train once a week along with weekend competitions in the Somerset Ability County League that seem them compete against other disability teams.

Dave Edmonds, lead coach at Weston Ability, spoke about the work of his team and the opportunities of the new partnership. He said:

“We have been running for nearly 10 years and we now have the opportunity to expand and grow as a club with the support of Seagulls in the Community and Weston-super-Mare AFC.

“We can offer more children and adults with disabilities, learning difficulties and special educational needs the opportunity to play football in a fun, safe and inclusive environment.

“Ourselves, SITC and WsMAFC are very passionate about inclusive football we have some great ideas to develop our offering in the future. We are excited for what is to come.”

Through the new partnership with Weston AFC the Weston Ability squad will be able to train on the Conference League team’s 3G training astro, located in the grounds of the Optima Stadium.

Weston Ability will also have access to a minibus for away match travel, training sessions for coaches, and promotion across the Weston-super-Mare AFC media which will not only help with getting the word out about their disability team, but also the overall cause of inclusive sport.

Weston-super-Mare AFC Director and Seagulls in the Community Trustee, Alex Crowther, said:

“We’re delighted Weston Ability have partnered with Seagulls in the Community and Weston-super-Mare AFC. They are now very much a part of our club.

“It’s been a genuine pleasure getting to know their players, coaches and staff over the past 6 months; understanding how we can best use the resources and expertise we have available at SITC and WsMAFC to support their future growth and ultimately, allow more players to benefit from the fun and inclusive environment they have created.”

The partnership between the two football clubs is also supported by Weston AFC’s community group Seagulls in the Community, who look at ways to use the football club’s influence ad resources to help the local community.

The Seagulls have started up again this year after some time off and are currently exploring the viability of several projects which will benefit the local community, as well as the possibilities brought from teaming up with new partners Weston Ability.

Andrew Kynaston, Seagulls in the Community Trustee, said: “Our partnership with Weston Ability is something our team of trustees has been working towards for some time, and we are delighted that they have now formally joined us.

“I’ve loved attending some of their recent matches, and we can’t wait to support them more going forward.”