The recent hard work and success of the Lionesses has put Women’s football in the spotlight, and rightly so!  For a long time, many have hoped the girls and women’s game would gain the recognition it deserves.  It still needs a lot of investment, but hopefully this will come now.


As many already know, women’s football was a very different story ten years ago. And, for all those involved, playing, working and volunteering in disability football, the success of the Lionesses has given great hope that there will be a rise in popularity and opportunities to grow the game across all areas of inclusive football. There is such a long way to go, but most are optimistic.

Where does disability football stand today?

It is estimated that 1% of grassroots clubs in England are running inclusive football sections for players who have a disability and/or additional needs.   It is important to remember that many mainstream teams are also including individuals who have a disability or additional needs in their mainstream football teams too.


According to the Activity Alliance, there are 11.5 million disabled people in England.  This number will be a lot higher if you consider those who are not registered disabled and those individuals living with long-term conditions or additional needs.  The Activity Alliance Lifestyle report sites that 7 in 10 disabled people would like to be more active and if the offerings increase for all ability sport, then more individuals will find clubs and teams that suit their needs and they will have the opportunity to join in.


There are inclusive football sessions running at some football clubs in England providing opportunities for impairment specific football and pan-disability football.  You can search here to find a session in your area.


To try to move things forward for disability football, the FA launched Football Your Way in 2021, a three-year plan to develop, improve, and raise awareness of disability football in England. You can read more here.


If you are a football club, thinking about starting an inclusive football section, talk to other teams in your area or your local FA or equivalent who will help you set up.  There is often some funding available too.


Together with the ‘Power of Football’ we can help make the world’s most watched sport more accessible for everyone and fun for all.


Contact us with any feedback, questions or if you would like to discuss any aspect of inclusive football. Opportunities for guest blogs are also available.  The team at Inclusive.Football would really like to hear your views.

Tracy Light
Author: Tracy Light

Tracy Light, Founder of Inclusive.Football