11 Nov 2015
Phil Mullen Appointed Disability Officer
As Cambridge United strives to expand the work being undertaken in disability sport, our Community Trust are delighted to have appointed Phil Mullen as Disability Sport Officer.
Mullen will now become the lead for all of the U’s work in disability sport, having gained a vast knowledge working as a self-employed sports coach delivering disability sport projects for Cambridgeshire FA.
His new role will see Mullen utilise his experience by taking charge of four immediate key projects to be delivered in the city by Cambridge United and oversee the further expansion of our disability sport programme during the next 12 months.
Delighted to have been offered the position, Mullen enthusiastically commented: “I am absolutely thrilled to have been given the opportunity to continue working in this field and to grow this work still further. Having met with Jez George [Chief Executive] and Danny Kerrigan [Community Trust Manager], it was amazing to learn that Cambridge United share the same passion for disability sport that I have.
“My role will be about providing opportunities to those who may not be able to partake in mainstream sport for a number of reasons.
“The opportunities that Cambridge United can provide to the community and the demand for disabled sport go hand-in-hand, so to bring the two together and be offered the role at the head of it is exciting.”
He continued: “I have been a self-employed sports coach working in and around the Cambridge area for the last four years, during which I have had the opportunity to work with disabled players - primarily cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and hearing impaired. I have also had the chance to work with children that are on the autistic spectrum, as well as children with behavioural issues.”
“It’s important we continue to help all people have opportunities of partaking in sport and enjoy the huge social and personal benefits associated with sport.”
Alongside the work our Community Trust is already delivering with Down's syndrome and cerebral palsy, Mullen’s remit will also include two upcoming projects which aim to provide opportunities to enjoy sport for the hearing-impaired and powerchair users.
He explained: “We are currently in the process of setting up weekly deaf/hearing-impaired sessions at Impington Village College, which begin this month, and will offer those with hearing impairments the chance to get involved in football.
“Meanwhile, a Powerchair Football Festival has also been planned for late November offering powerchair uses the opportunity to get involved in football. Powerchair Football is a game played 4-a-side, with a larger ball and no goalkeepers.
“Cambridge United will always draw football supporters in and those that happen to be disabled, once they know the opportunities are there with the football club, I’m sure will grasp the chance to engage with us and partake in sport. But this programme isn't exclusive to Cambridge United supporters; we want to positively impact the disabled community at large."
Cambridge United Community Trust Manager Danny Kerrigan believes the appointment is just the first step towards the club’s aim of expanding the opportunities in disabled sport.
He said: “Phil’s appointment shows our intention to really start to grow our Disability Sport offer over the next few months and beyond. This work will start quickly, adding hearing-impaired futsal sessions and a Powerchair Football taster weekend to our Saturday morning cerebral palsy and Down syndrome sessions.
“However, we have plans to continue this expansion into many more areas of disability, as well as starting to deliver sport sessions in special schools during the school day, and eventually forming teams that will play competitively against the representative sides of other clubs.”
He continued: “Cambridge United’s Community Football programme does a brilliant job of providing mainstream football opportunities to thousands of children; we see it as our Community Trust’s job to ensure that there are as many opportunities for those unable to engage in mainstream sport for any reason, and Phil’s time and expertise are great assets as we move towards this goal.”
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