On behalf of everyone at Celtic Football Club, our Swedish defender Carl Starfelt today supports World Down Syndrome Day, advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down Syndrome in society.
Each year the voice of people with Down Syndrome, and those who live and work with them, grows louder.
Further information, on the aims and objectives can be found at worlddownsyndromeday.org.
For many years Celtic FC Foundation has worked in this area. In 2010, our Foundation met with Down Syndrome Scotland, who initially were looking to do a campaign and raise awareness of the positive achievements of children with Down Syndrome.
We suggested that rather than do a stand-alone campaign it would be more beneficial to deliver a powerful project that could support young people with Down Syndrome by being inclusive and providing activities that would support and develop their physical and mental wellbeing and use this as a tool to raise awareness.
Since then DS Scotland have continued to support Celtic’s Ability Count project. Ability Counts has become a multi-award winning project and is cherished by the Foundation.
Ability Counts makes a profound and lasting difference to the lives of many individuals and families. The project is fully funded by Celtic FC Foundation, over the years hundreds of children have attended and some have been there since the start.
Ability Counts is founded on a simple model of inclusivity, companionship and most importantly, fun.
Through physical activity, sport and team-based play, our sessions allow participants a sense of freedom, affording them opportunities to express their feelings and communicate in a relaxed, comfortable environment while improving physical skills such as balance and motor skills.
This was the first strand of Ability Counts, however, over the years we’ve introduced a second strand for 18+ participants who are striving towards independent living and also a third strand for children and young people living with Autism.
We are currently working with Down Syndrome Ireland towards a return of Ability Counts to Dublin and Donegal. The results and benefits delivered have been phenomenal and we are committed to continuing our work in this area.
For further information on Ability Counts, please contact [email protected]