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News - Press Release - 22/July 2009

Learning disabilities football project hailed a great success - 22 July 2009      AN Essex county football league for people with disabilities could be formed following the successful official launch in Colchester of the Healthy 4 Life football project run by NHS North East Essex for adults with learning disabilities.  

 Fourteen teams from all over the county took part in the tournament at the Community Sports Ground, Shrub End, part of a junior and adult Soccability Festival for people with disabilities who like to play football, supported by Essex FA and Colchester United Community Sports Trust.  

 A football group was first set up about four years ago by occupational therapist, Carolyn Rogers, and colleague, Mo Seeraullee, a community nurse who ran it in their free time until NHS North East Essex granted funding for the project this year.  

 Carolyn said: “The event was a huge success, so much so that we are now working with the Essex FA on establishing a county football league for people with disabilities.     “All the players received a medal at the end of the tournament for their hard work. We would like to thank everyone involved in making the event a great success and in particular all the clients who took part. We look forward to many more in the future.”  

There are 25 participants in Colchester and 12 in Clacton ranging in age from 18 to 63. A new group is also being formed in Harwich.

Carolyn and Mo job share the two-days a week co-ordinator post enabling them to extend the health benefits and sporting opportunities of the project. “We’re going to offer individual health plans and bi-monthly health checks to all players and help to target specific problems such as weight management and smoking cessation,” said Carolyn. “We’ve already seen improvements in self-esteem, communications skills, general health and mental well-being among clients taking part.”  

 For more information on the Healthy 4 Life football project contact Carolyn Rogers on 07786660998 or Mo Seeraullee on 07766253757.