Oxford City Casuals Win National Disability Award

28th June 2017

Oxford City Casuals have been named the best program for disabilities at the National League Trust Community Awards 2017, beating 68 other teams to the prize. The casuals is a friendly and welcoming club made up of over 50 male and female players aged 4 to 45 with a range of disabilities.

Following the news that they had won the award the Casuals held a celebration and presentation at a recent training session at Oxford City Football Club in Marsh Lane, Marston. Manager Mark Heelis said: “This was the first time as a manager I got to have my hands on the trophy. It felt absolutely brilliant. I felt so proud to be part of an amazing community club. It is a real pleasure to manage the team and we have got some incredible people helping out.”

The Casuals was first set up in September 2003 and aims to help dozens of players gain confidence, independence and improve social skills. The pan-disability club runs training sessions every Sunday at the Oxford City ground under the guidance of volunteer coaches from the club. As well as the honour of being named best program the club was also given a £5,000 cheque at the awards ceremony, which was held on June 10.

The Casuals play in the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Inclusive League [BOBI] with six casuals teams representing Oxford City: Under-12s, ladies, and four adult men’s teams. The club also puts on regular social events and trips for its members including tours of Wembley Stadium and its end of season party.

Mark added that to be named the best out of so many teams was ‘unbelievable’ and continued to say that “the team are just delighted; they were really thrilled about it”.

The 2017/18 BOBI season has now come to an end and will begin again in September, with fixtures to be published on the Oxford City website. The Casuals are always looking for new players of all ages to join the club so if you are in the Oxford area and would like to get involved with the club please contact Club Manager Mark Heelis on mark_heelis@hotmail.com.

Oxford City Casuals are just one of many disability football sessions happening all across Oxfordshire. If you are inspired by Oxford City’s success and want to get involved in disability football then please contact Disability Football Development Officer Jonathan Coles by email: disability@oxfordshirefa.com or call 07889 508886 to find out more about what’s going on in your local area.

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