TODAY, Tuesday, March 21, marks the twelfth anniversary of World Down’s Syndrome Day, and this day, as part of Down´s Syndrome Awareness Week, celebrates people with Down’s Syndrome who have achieved or who are in the process of achieving their dreams – no matter how big or small.
Watch Sky Sports’ recent video of Alex O’Donnell, one of our Ability Counts participants, who was recently appointed as a Celtic FC Tour Guide. Click HERE to watch this inspirational video.
Celtic FC Foundation’s Ability Counts project was developed in 2010 in consultation with Down’s Syndrome Scotland and launched in February, 2011. It was the first of its kind in Scotland and has grown from strength to strength.
The project engages with, supports and develops over 30 children and young people with Down’s Syndrome on a weekly basis. It delivers fun games, football and dance coaching to help develop communication skills, motor skills and team-working skills to name a few.
This week we have launched a groundbreaking strand for 2017, Ability Counts 18+ is a pathway for young and mature adults to progress into personal, social and employability skills.
Across the 10-week pilot, we will work with 11 participants (ranging from 18 to 41-years-old) utilising specialist consultants from a variety of sectors including hospitality and leisure, charities and social enterprise as well as emergency services and community development resources.
Ability Counts has won several awards such as the Scottish Charity Awards People’s Choice Heart and Soul Award and the European Club Associations coveted Best Social and Corporate Responsibility Award and most recently the Herald’s Diversity Award Best Community Project 2016.
Tony Hamilton, CEO of Celtic FC Foundation, said: “Ability Counts is hugely important for us and this particular strand, for those who live with Down’s Syndrome, is where it all kicked off.
“I am very grateful that we get the support to be allowed to deliver this and expand it and the Celtic fans across the world have played a massive part in making that possible. This is about inclusion as well as many other things and it’s very important to us that we can continue with it.”
Celtic FC Foundation’s Ability Counts Down’s Syndrome project is delivered at Tollcross International Swimming Centre, Saturdays from 1 to 4pm. If you would like more information on the Ability Counts Down’s Syndrome project or our new 18+ strand, please contact [email protected].