North London United and Arsenal have been running
DSActive Football sessions for the past few seasons. The partnership started in 2014 and has over 15 participants attending the weekly sessions. The aim of the session is to use football to increase physical exercise for people with Down’s syndrome within the local area of North London. The sessions take place at the Arsenal Hub – opposite the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal’s home ground – from Mondays 5:30pm-6:30pm. The spectator’s area is available for parents and carers by the side of the pitch.
The DSActive team recently went to visit one of the sessions. To start, there was a group warm-up to get everyone ready for football. Then, the group split into two groups; the 1st group did an individual shooting drill and the 2nd group did a passing drill in pairs. Each group had two coaches leading the drills while two volunteers were assisting the session. Both groups did the shooting and passing drill for 12 mins each. Then, both groups played a 6-aside match. The result was a thrilling 6-5 win to the blue team.
The North London United Head coach Harold said:
“I believe all children should participate in sport regardless of their abilities. The benefits of running a football programme for children and young adults with Down’s syndrome means they are able to develop their fine and gross motor skills, improve on their technical ability, stay fit, make new friends and have loads of fun.”