Direct Access backs Nantwich Town Disability FC

Nantwich-based disability firm Direct Access has renewed its backing of vision-impaired football team, Nantwich Town Disability Football (NTDF).

Direct Access first became sponsors in 2019 when the club went by the name Nantwich Town Wolves VIFC.

Now the company has committed to funding the clubs’ youth PAN disability football training sessions aimed at young disabled people under 16, and their Nantwich Cubs sessions for children.

Michael Miller, head of marketing at Direct Access, said: “Over the past two years, the bond between Direct Access and the club has only grown stronger, as has our admiration for the players.

“We have witnessed first-hand the team’s exponential expansion in popularity as the training sessions introduced football to growing numbers of blind people in the Nantwich community.”

Direct Access founder Steven Mifsud MBE added: “The community spirit of the Wolves and what they’ve been able to offer disabled people in Direct Access’ hometown of Nantwich is amazing, and the fact they’re all fantastic players is a great bonus.

“We’re truly honoured to be backing the club for the foreseeable future.”

Established first, the adult PAN disability sessions run on a Friday at Malbank Sports Hall from 7-8pm.

They cater for all recognised disabilities, and currently welcome individuals with learning disabilities, visual impairments, autism, hearing impairments and cerebral palsy.

Each week they are joined by 15 regulars at this session.

The PAN youth disability sessions are a new venture for the club and were set up after a parent approached asking if their 13-year-old visually impaired son could be involved in the visually impaired team.

Youth PAN sessions were launched and currently welcome 14 regulars every Sunday 4-5pm.

Club secretary Keir Welch said: “When we were first approached by Steven from Direct Access to sponsor our visually impaired football team, the acceptance and partnership was a no brainier for us.

“It just made sense for us to be affiliated with a company whose aim is to improve accessibility throughout all aspects of life.

“During the pandemic we as a team used that time to grow and develop into much more and offer more to a wider range of disabilities other than just those living with sight loss.

“We now, in partnership with Nantwich Town FC, offer weekly sessions for both adult PAN disability, and youth PAN disability.

“The renewed sponsorship with DA means we can continue offering these sessions for free, but it also allows us to purchase team-wear, equipment and put our volunteer coaches through qualifications, so that those attending the sessions get the most from it as they possibly can.

“We can also continue to compete across the country with our visually impaired team, and spend more time, and put more effort into growth and development, rather than worrying about fundraising and remaining financially stable as an independent club.

“We were thrilled that the Direct Access team were just as excited about our new ventures as we are and are so pleased that they agreed to join us on this exciting journey.”

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