Tuesday 12 November 2013
The Albion Foundation's disability department and their One Albion project celebrated 12 months of success on and off the pitch on Thursday night at their awards evening at the Hawthorns.
"You are all inspiring to me, you inspire me to do better and I feel great humility this evening being able to share in your success"
The One Albion Project is funded through Short Breaks funding from the Premier League/Players Football Association Community Fund and Sandwell Council and provides grassroots opportunities in special schools and special educational needs units of mainstream schools for young people with disabilities and learning difficulties.
The young people progress to a series of development centres covering a range of disabilities with the potential to progress to the Sporting Club Albion teams. This is an opportunity for the players to compete at regional, national and international level in various categories.
West Bromwich Albion head coach Steve Clarke who has been a great supporter of the Foundation and especially the disability section was again the guest of honour and was supported by another ambassador from the club, the midfielder Steven Reid.
Clarke and Reid presented individual and collective awards to all of the teams and development centres and the evening culminated in the presentation of two special accolades, the Outstanding Achievement Award, which went to volunteer Tony Kay for his selfless commitment to the cause and the Dedication Award, which was received by blind footballer, Ian McNamara.
Also on the evening an audience of over 200 enjoyed a presentation by powerchair player Dave Lewis who shared his inspirational life story as he has battled through more than 30 operations but through Sporting Club Albion has achieved tremendous sporting success. Dave who captains the SCA Throstle's powerchair team rounded off a memorable evening by picking up both Manager's and Player's Player of the Year award.
"I came along last year to this event and I was truly blown away with what I saw," said Clarke. "I have over the last season got to know a few of you a bit more and it has been another brilliant evening. You are all inspiring to me, you inspire me to do better and I feel great humility this evening being able to share in your success."
"This is one of the highlights of our Foundation calendar and has been another brilliant evening," added Rob Lake, Albion Foundation Director. "Having the support of Steve Clarke and Steven Reid is so important and has made the night for the players.
"There was a wonderful atmosphere in the room and it also got quite emotional when Dave spoke and we watch the video of the power chair team going to Paris for the Champions League."
The Albion Foundation offers an opportunity for players to represent West Bromwich Albion and wear the club's colours in a range of sports at an elite level by running basketball, disability and girls/women's football sections. The disability section comprises four powerchair football teams, a Blind Centre of Excellence, a visually-impaired team, three PAN disability teams, a PAN junior team and a Down's Syndrome team.
To make a donation, click here or call Rob Lake on 07595 243117.