Better Pathways Football Club’s foundation is built on social interaction, friendship and inclusion. Many of our players have never before had the opportunity to play football within a safe environment, and are socially isolated. It is a team for those with learning disabilities, mental health and neurodiverse conditions. We take referrals from our connections with NHS Mental Health and Neurodiverse teams around the city, as well as our partner organisations Creative Support and Birmingham Mind.
Our sessions are tailored to be inclusive for everyone of all abilities and levels of fitness. They are open to males and females over the age of 16. We have already had some fantastic experiences at the official Liverpool, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Derby County Foundations playing their equivalent teams and enjoying bespoke stadium tours. We thoroughly enjoy our weekly training sessions at the Sir Doug Ellis Woodcock Sports Centre, Aston University.
The group is now expanding and really starting to bond, we have regular supporters who cheer us on, and it’s lovely for the parents of the participants to chat to each other also. We hope to continue to travel the country to play other foundations, and promote our team throughout Birmingham as much as possible.
This season we joined the Birmingham Disability Counts League in which we participate once a month on Sundays. It’s fantastic to see so many teams enjoying themselves, supporting each other and being given the opportunity to play competitive but inclusive disability sport. This provides players and supporters with vital social interaction and community engagement.