Lisburn Distillery set up new learning disability section

As an extension to the ever-growing youth setup Lisburn Distillery Football Club have confirmed the launch of their new learning disability section.

Players and coaches with ex-Northern Ireland international Mal Donaghy and Mayor Stephen Martin. Picture: Jonathan Irwin

The section was set up following an approach by two parents, Lesley Killen and Karen Orr, to the club and following a meeting with club representatives it was agreed to run a six week trial programme to see if this was something that would be feasible for the club to run.

Thanks to the help of Alan Crooks and other staff from the Irish Football Association (IFA) the trial finally got underway in September of last year, following a slight delay due to the Coronavirus pandemic and restrictions surrounding this.

The trial was deemed a success with 18 players attending between the ages of 7-14, this allowed the club to split the group into two sections (ages 7-10 and 11-14) to ensure players could be comfortable working in a smaller group of similar ages and allow the coaches to work with a more manageable group and give each player the attention they required.

Parents Lesley Killen and Karen Orr with Mayor Stephen Martin and coaches from the IFA. Picture: Jonathan Irwin

The plan now would be continue with this programme and hopefully see this continue to grow, in the weeks and months ahead.

The programme would be suitable for players dealing with ADHD, moderate learning difficulties and autism so if you have any children or know of anyone who has any children that may be interested please contact Ged Irwin on 07730 505190.

We will also be looking for further coaches to assist with the running of this so again if you would be interested contact Ged, no coaching badges are required.

Finally, the club hope to be able to have the first matches for players starting next month so if any businesses would be interested in sponsoring the teams kit please contact Ged.