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KIRKLEY FC: New squad sparkles

PUBLISHED: 11:39 12 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:42 06 July 2010

KIRKLEY & Pakefield FC have this week "fully integrated" their first disabled team into their club banner.

And there were celebrations all round as the first-ever Suffolk Disability League Tournament saw the new squad shine in only losing one game out eight on Saturday.

KIRKLEY & Pakefield FC have this week “fully integrated” their first disabled team into their club banner.

And there were celebrations all round as the first-ever Suffolk Disability League Tournament saw the new squad shine in only losing one game out eight on Saturday.

The tournament, organised by Ipswich Town FC, was a first taste of competitive action for the side. Established through a partnership between Suffolk Befriending Scheme (SBS) - a charity working with adults with a learning disability - and K&P, the team has been boosted by funding from the Suffolk Foundation, Suffolk County Council, and Waveney NHS.

The team have been coached weekly for the last 18 months by Jon Regester from K&P, and on Saturday they competed against teams from Great Cornard, Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich at Portman Road to play a number of matches in the first of five football tournaments to be held over the next four months.

Having had a couple of friendly matches with Ipswich Town over the last year, the SBS/Kirkley & Pakefield team were delighted to be invited to take part in a tournament where they could play other teams in Suffolk.

Shirley Moore, CEO from the Suffolk Befriending Scheme said: “Adults with learning disabilities don't get many opportunities to play football in a team environment so the staging of this event has given them a real boost. An added bonus was that the team only lost one game out of eight and were particularly pleased to have beaten their rivals Ipswich at last.

“We are grateful to our funders - for giving the SBS team a helping hand to take part in a main steam sport and welcome the opportunity to work with Kirkley & Pakefield FC and the other organisations,” she added.

Equally delighted, a K&P spokesman said: “We are pleased to report that the club has now fully integrated their first disabled team. We think it is a first in the area, and in line with our community status we are determined to give the team every encouragement and help.”

If you are interested in sponsoring the SBS/Kirkley & Pakefield team please contact Jon Regester on 07941 303 956 or email jon.regester@fitforlife-online.co.uk

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