Hull City DSActive get tournament experience ahead of this year’s National Football Festival

By Sue Parkinson, whose son Jake is a member of the Hull DSActive team

The Hull City DSActive team has been running since 2011 and was formed as part of the Tigers Trust. Our current squad of nine are all passionate about football and in particular Hull City FC.

Great sportsmanship on display...helping your opponent up after you've tackled them, followed by a hug

Great sportsmanship on display…helping your opponent up after you’ve tackled them, followed by a hug

Our team coach, Katy, arranged for Hull City DSActive to take part in a tournament hosted by Fulham on 23 April. Despite the five and a half hour coach journey, the team arrived at Fulham’s training ground fresh and raring to go.

The team had a great day, playing six games in total, winning five and drawing one.

Everyone who had travelled down to Fulham, players and supporters alike, were delighted with the team’s performance and the incredible sportsmanship they had shown too.

The team takes part in the national DSActive Football tournament each year and they really look forward to this year’s competition. In 2015 we reached the semi finals!

In September 2016 the team was invited to take part in an exhibition match at the London Stadium, West Ham’s home ground. Hull City DSActive played against the DSActive team from Norwich City.

The match was part of the launch of the Premier League and BT Sports disability sport initiative and was watched by the media and some high profile celebrities, including Michael Owen.

Although it was wonderful that Hull won the match, it was more about showing the football world what the DSActive players can do. Both teams certainly did that and absolutely loved the day.

I can’t underestimate the benefits that playing football can give children with Down’s syndrome. My son Jake, who is now 18, has been playing for Hull City for three and a half years. He has always loved football but struggled to play at a mainstream level. I came across Hull City’s DSActive team by chance and immediately contacted Katy, who invited Jake to join the training sessions.

Since then, Jake has rarely missed a session and his football skills have developed so much. The friendship which has developed between Jake and the rest of the team is amazing to see as well. They have such a great bond and love socializing together and playing football allows all of the team to follow their passion while keeping fit and active.

We are very lucky to have two other fantastic coaches, volunteers, who attend the training sessions and they’ve done an amazing job in developing the team’s skills. They also make sure that all the team continues to have a lot of fun too!

The Hull City DSActive team train every Wednesday at the Airco Arena next to Hull City’s Stadium between 5.00pm and 6.00pm.

It would be great to welcome new members of the team. If you’re interested in joining, please email Katy Holmes on Katylm2@hotmail.co.uk