South Belfast football club celebrate the achievements of young people with disabilities

  • Rosario Youth Football Club, sponsored by Telefónica Tech, has this week held an awards night to celebrate the fantastic achievements of young people with disabilities.

    Rosario Youth Football Club, has been a long-standing club situated in the heart of South Belfast at the Ulidia Playing Fields for over 100 years. In April of last year, Rosario initiated a Pan Disability football section within the club with a six-week pilot season taking place initially. Following the success of this, the club launched a full season in September. They now have teams participating in IFA-managed disability leagues.

    The awards took place recently in the club headquarters at the Ulidia Playing Fields and awarded around 40 young people with medals to celebrate their success of their first full season as a club.

    Pictured: Peter Leonard with Ciara Gibson (left) and Esme Mc Cann (right), two club members.

    Rosario has worked closely with the IFA on the best approach to set up and run a disability football section. This included IFA-approved training courses for coaches taking part in the initial pilot, with additional coach training continually being reviewed and scheduled with the IFA.

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    The community-driven club welcomes young people of all ages and all disabilities from across Northern Ireland and is encouraging more children with disabilities to get active and sign up.

    Peter Leonard, Head of Service Architecture at Telefónica Tech UK&I, and Football Coach at Rosario commented: “Telefónica Tech is delighted to sponsor Rosario Disabled Football Club. The club offers such an inclusive and nurturing environment that encourages everyone to get involved and participate and we are delighted to be able to support that. We started a disabled section to encourage children to participate who previously felt that they couldn’t. It was fantastic to come together this week, to see how far these young people have come, and how much their confidence has grown, and to celebrate their achievements with our end-of-season awards night.

    Pictured: A prize-giving night for the Rosario Disabled children’s football team, sponsored by Telefónica Tech, to celebrate the success of the club and achievements of the young people attending the club, pictured alongside Ellen Dickson, VP of Enterprise Health at Telefónica Tech UK&I

    Sharon Kent, parent of 11-year-old Jacob who attends the club, said: “We wanted to find an inclusive team for Jacob - with Rosario, we found everything we’d been looking for. Everything is so well organised and we were made to feel very welcome. He was nervous to begin with, but with the help of the patient and supportive coaches, he has been able to develop his skills and has even been able to take part in the monthly IFA Inclusion tournaments.

    "He has also made friends, developed his listening skills, and has had so much fun. It has been amazing for him, and we would recommend Rosario Disability football to anyone who would like their child to learn how to play football in a welcoming and fun environment.”

    Sponsor of the event, Telefónica Tech, is the leading company in digital transformation. The company has a wide range of services and integrated technological solutions for Cyber Security, Cloud, IoT, Big Data, and Blockchain. 

    The comapny has over 1,000 employees, with over 330 employes based in Belfast, delivering services to a host of sectors, including Healthcare, Manufacturing, Retail, and more. The company vision is to 'create a world where technology enhances lives.' 


    If you are would like to register your interest in Rosario Youth Football Club, visit the Rosario website for more information.

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