Sevenoaks Town Football club is to have a new £22,000 stand for its growing number of disabled spectators who love the beautiful game.
The stand is being funded by Ibstock Cory Environmental Trust (ICET) and the work is due to commence this week. Sevenoaks Town Football Club is home to Valance Vikings, Sevenoaks' Powerchair Football Team, who aim to be promoted into the Premiership Division next season.
Sevenoaks Town Football Club’s ground, Greatness Park, has won funding to create a dedicated stand for its growing number of disabled spectators. The funding from Ibstock Cory Environmental Trust will ensure that disabled spectators attending matches will enjoy an easily accessible raised covered platform to enhance their view of the pitch and shelter them from inclement weather. The numbers of disabled spectators, often in wheelchairs, has increased since the club became home to Sevenoak’s Powerchair Football Club three years ago.
Paul Lansdale, Chairman said: “Too many football grounds’ wheelchair user supporters are left exposed to the elements whilst watching games. Here, at Sevenoaks Town FC, we are fully committed to improving facilities for our wheelchair user supporters and players. We are delighted to have received funding to create a purpose built stand so we can provide these loyal and valued supporters with a quality viewing experience of the exciting games we play here.”
The new stand will include a raised platform to enhance the view of the pitch for supporters in wheelchairs. It will also incorporate easy access to the stand and protection from the football should it be kicked into touch near the stand during a match.
While wheel chair users support a wide range of Sevenoaks’ teams at the ground, their interest is growing in powerchair football, particularly with the opportunity to play in this unique game. Played over 40 minutes, each team of four battles it out with a 13 inch ball using specialised powered wheelchairs to play the beautiful game. The Valance Vikings are attracting a dedicated following, having come in the top five in their division this year, and are looking for promotion next season into the Premiership.
Work commences on the new stand this week and is anticipated to take a month to build. “Our club is growing and is now one of the largest community clubs in the South East. We will have 50 teams next season including 2 powerwheel chair teams, 22 mixed mini soccer teams, 19 junior teams, 4 girls’ teams and 3 adult teams. It’s great that we are an inclusive club and we can provide a great experience for disabled and able supporters and players alike,” reflects Paul.
Angela Haymonds, Secretary for ICET said: “Trustees were delighted to fund this project as it brings able and disabled supporters and players together providing a facility for them to socialise, enjoy sport together and make new friends. We hope it will become a focal point for the community in Sevenoaks.”
Angela continued: “This community project is just one of the many Ibstock Cory Environmental Trust has funded through the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF). The scheme offers funding to projects that benefit communities living within 10 miles of a landfill site. Groups interested in submitting projects should visit our website to find out more.”