Happy to play a part
A LOCAL touch football team is proving that disability is no barrier to getting out on the sports field.
Happy Touch, an organisation designed for players with disabilities, will take part in three matches at the 2017 Touch Football Cash Comp this weekend.
The group, founded by Claudia Cream and Jane Hodsdon in September, was conceived as a way to get people with a disability involved in the sport.
Ms Cream, whose daughter Demi has autism, said she had always been active in trying to find different team sports to accommodate her.
“I’ve been involved as a touch football player and a coach for many years and during that time Demi would sit on the sideline and just watch,” she said.
“One day I asked her if she wanted to play and she lit up with excitement.”
Together with friends and family, Ms Cream, Ms Hodsdon and the touch football community were able to create the opportunity for people with a disability to be involved in the team sport.
“It just felt like it was something I had to do,” Ms Cream said.
“For the players it’s not just about learning how to play touch footy, it has given them confidence, social awareness and the skills to interact and the feeling of achievement.”
The numbers since forming have risen as Happy Touch has gone from one to two teams in just nine months, with players aged between 12 and 20.
“We are hoping to increase our numbers so more people with a disability can enjoy the magic of Happy Touch,” Ms Cream said.
“Everyone who is involved in Happy Touch are always smiling, laughing and having fun, the feeling is contagious.”
This year’s Touch Football Cash Comp is on at Queens Park in North Ward today and tomorrow.
Ms Cream encouraged members of the community to come out to support the young players.
“Anyone can check us out as they may know someone with a disability who would benefit greatly from being a part of a team,” she said.