An evening engagement for volunteer week. Harrogate Gateways FC meets at St Aidan’s School and runs football development and competition for disabled people. There are a small group of dedicated volunteers and coaches – about six were present last night.
Gateway has three different ability groups and encourages participation by all. Many family also attend to spectate and the attendance was high – there must have been around 30 players last night.
The teams play competitively across the region and also take part in tournaments.
My duties were to be a general help, to aid some of the players to get involved and assisting with the training drills.
I was with the group for the whole 90 minute session and I have to say it was both moving and inspirational too.
We all have challenges in our lives but it is difficult to appreciate the challenge facing people who live with disabilities especially when those are severe. Those things that most take for granted – having a kick about; participating in sport – are simply less available.
That is why Harrogate Gateway deserve support and why I would encourage anyone to get involved. Volunteering with Gateway doesn’t just help the players, it was fun. The key thought I came away with was just how much all the players loved playing and how rewarding it is for everyone involved.