Caudwell Children hits the back of the net with their pan-disability football team in collaboration with Pro-Level Academy

Pro Level Academy and Pro Level Vision have teamed up with disabled and autistic children’s charity Caudwell Children to re-launch their Pan-disability Club.

Pro Level Academy was founded by professional footballers, Tom Conlon who currently plays as a Midfielder for Oldham Athletic and Nathan Smith who currently plays as a defender and is club captain at Port Vale.

PLA offers specialised football coaching, enabling anybody to access academy standard coaching no matter who they are. They are firm believers that development is accelerated in a fun, safe and respectful environment.

Their aim is to provide the same high-quality, specialised football coaching to the pan-disability group that they offer to their current Pro Level participants. Beyond teaching the game and enhancing skills in a safe, judgment-free environment, PLA focus on developing social, communication, and leadership qualities, something that both Tom and Nathan, as professional footballers, are passionate about. They believe football can be a powerful vehicle for change, and this initiative will revolve around that belief.

Tom Conlon said: “A year ago we launched our charity arm, Pro Level Vision with the mission to give every child access to high-quality coaching, irrelevant of their background or level. To be able to deliver a brand-new pan-disability programme, in partnership with Caudwell Children, is another huge step towards achieving this.

“We are made up of a fantastic team of coaches with backgrounds in teaching and Academy football, who are passionate about developing the person just as much as the player, and having been in regular dialogue with the inspiring and hard-working team at Caudwell Children, we believe our values align perfectly with theirs. Together we are looking forward to forging a long-standing partnership and adding huge value through this exciting new initiative.”

Disabled and autistic children and young people aged 8-16, will be able to attend training sessions at Keele University’s Sport Centre based in Staffordshire and will be coached by a diverse team who are passionate about Pro Level’s mission. Coach Lewis Beeston, will take the lead on these sessions, and has recently started a new position at Caudwell Children working on the charity’s Shaping Futures programme. PLA believe that when players feel happy and comfortable, they are more likely to thrive.

Pro Level Academy said: “We are fully committed to this collaboration, viewing it as the start of something truly special. The Pro Level Pan Disability offering is just the beginning, and we plan to expand it further. We have fully funded the team’s places with proceeds from our inaugural Pro Level Vision Charity Ball event held in March. We extend our gratitude to our sponsors and guests on the night, whose generous support made this possible.

“Developing a pan-disability team has always been part of our roadmap, and this collaboration has accelerated those plans. With our coaching infrastructure already in place, we are ready to hit the ground running and look forward to a bright future for the pan-disability team."

Halcion a haulage company based in Newcastle Under Lyme, who works with some of the biggest UK retailers, including Amazon, ASDA, Dunelm and John Lewis, sponsors the Pan-disability football team.

Andrew Corrie, Managing Director at Halcion said: “We saw that Caudwell Children is especially important for changing and improving the lives of disabled and autistic children, which is a cause close to our hearts as we have all been directly and indirectly affected by this in some way. We are very grateful to have been invited to support your charity and honoured to help.”

Caudwell Children was founded in Stoke on Trent by Philanthropist and entrepreneur John Caudwell and as a charity, they are on a journey of change, working tirelessly to make the world a place where children can be themselves and grow up without fear of prejudice, discrimination or stigma. Caudwell Children aims to unlock the potential in every child that comes through their doors, so all disabled and autistic children have the choice, opportunity, dignity and understanding they deserve.

Nicola Stanway, Caudwell Children’s Employability Manager said "We are thrilled and proud to join forces with Pro Level Collaboration Football to launch our new pan-disability football team. This partnership embodies our shared commitment to empowering children of all abilities, encouraging inclusivity, and celebrating the unique talents of every player. Together, we are creating opportunities for young athletes to shine, grow, and thrive on and off the field."

The pan-disability club relaunches on 11th June 2024, and takes place every Tuesday from 5pm until 6pm at Keele Sports Centre. For more information visit https://www.caudwellchildren.com/get-involved/pan-disability-football-team/ or email prolevelvision@outlook.com.

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