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Impact Study: Niamh, Sandbach United Wildcats

Niamh has found a welcoming home to play football

Niamh has autism and has previously struggled to engage in other sports but Sandbach United Football Club has welcomed her with open arms. 

Niamh has been attending training sessions at the club's FA Wildcats session on a Wednesday evening and played in some of the games for the team.

Wildcats Football Centres offer girls aged 5-11 a chance to try football for the first time and provide regular opportunities to play. 

Sessions take place on a weekly basis, either after school or at weekends, at over 1,250 Wildcats centres across the country, and are focused on helping girls make friends, have fun and be active through football.

Cheshire FA are committed to providing football ‘For All’ and Sandbach United FC have embraced inclusivity and created a playing environment for everyone to thrive.   

Liz Clark, Football Development Officer at the club, said: "All the girls who attend the session have welcomed Niamh into the

group and it was their decision to give Niamh her medal as star trainer of the week and I think it’s amazing how they help her and show such maturity!!"

Niamh’s Dad said: ‘She is so excited about being in a team and has told everyone who will listen about her football and how good it is.  She absolutely loves it and unusually has slept all the way through, (Something she never does!) after football training both weeks!

"The difference this is making to Niamh is massive."

"As her confidence grows, makes friends and gets used to everyone I'm sure she'll show you how determined and hardworking she is and be a good little player - especially when she starts to get stuck in. She's not the timid dainty little flower she looks!"

Cheshire FA Female Football Development Officer Steph Knott added: "Sandbach United is a true community club providing Football For All in their local area.

"They have built up a fantastic female section at the club and where appropriate ensured that sessions are fully inclusive."

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