A pioneering ‘frame football club’ from Hucknall which gives children who use frames for support the chance to play the game has received a boost from the town’s Rotary Club.
President Kevin Rostance presented eight-year-old player Logan Scothern and his dad Anthony with a cheque for £400, the promise of continued support from the Hucknall Rotarians and named the team’s coach John Cheetham as the winner of their ‘Citizen of the Year’ award.
Rotarian Ian Young said: “During the last few months, no other project has made as big an impression on Hucknall Rotarians than the pioneering Frame Football team based at Hucknall’s Rolls Royce Leisure Club.
“Frame football offers a unique version of the globally-loved game to children who require frame support to walk. Hucknall proudly boast the largest frame football club in the world.”
John, 47, of Watnall Road in Hucknall, said: “It was totally unexpected - we just went to collect a cheque! I think I gave them the feeling that I was doing it from the heart. I do put a lot of passion into it.”
John, who runs the Rolls Royce Junior Football Club, as well as a Sunday morning soccer team, was asked to coach the frame team by its founder Jamie Brough. He said: “I just naturally took it over. It is all based on fun. The kids are great.”
John found his first experience of watching the frame-footballers play extremely moving. He said: “When I first watched them, I had to turn away and gather myself for a minute. Everyone who sees it can’t help but get involved.
“One dad said he never thought he would see his son play football and he burst into tears.
“The other day we had a game of tag - not one kid couldn’t do it. Before some of them struggled. They are developing fantastically. We have a laugh and a joke - it’s the same as the soccer school. It’s not about how many goals you score it’s about having fun.”
News of the team’s success spread around the world following a local television news item, and the cllib’s Facebook page racked up over a million views.
The frame team is also part of the Rolls Royce Junior Football Club, which has nearly 300 kids involved. It has earned a reputation as a good feeder club where many youngsters are talent scouted.
Over 70 teams are currently competing in the summer league, with matches played on three nights a week and coaching sessions on Sundays.
John paid tribute to his fellow coaches, Wayne Appleby and Wayne Clifton, and the support the frame football club has received from Rolls Royce Leisure.
Frame football was founded by Richard Seedhouse in 2014 and has quickly become a popular sport that allows kids with disabilities to enjoy the game.