Spotlight on Welsh Learning Disability Football
8 January 2015

Spotlight on Welsh Learning Disability Football

Coaches from across Wales attended a CPD event held at Dragon Park on Wednesday 10th December that showcased the Wales Learning Disability set-up.

The evening saw coaches from grassroots clubs, Welsh Premier League academies and professional clubs, including Cardiff City, Swansea City, Southampton and New York Red Bulls involved in a series of interactive workshops led by the coaches from the National Learning Disability Squad.

Andy Davies, Head Coach, commented "the aim of the night is to promote the potential of footballers with a learning disability and hopefully create discussion and trigger development in coaches working throughout Welsh football."
Workshop1 focused on Sports Science. It was led by Andy Whittington and showcased how support is provided to players both on and off camp. This was followed by Interactive Yoga in which all the coaches had the opportunity to take part in basic stretches and techniques that support the core stability of footballers. The yoga was provided by Richie Hughes of Celtic Fitness and was described by one of the attendees as "a great addition to the night, something that I will look at bringing to my club."

Workshop 3 looked at Developing Creative Players with individual skills coach, Jack Chapman, providing an insight into the theory behind the practices that the coaches then observed through the practical delivery.

Targeting Learning Styles, delivered by Head Coach Andy Davies, was the final workshop before the practical sessions. The workshop detailed the individual learning styles used with the National Squad and highlighted effective techniques that help to create the best environment for effective learning and development among the players. Adrian Harvie of Cardiff City commented that the workshop was "highly insightful confirming the need to adapt as a coach to truly effect each individual players needs".

The practical sessions gave the coaches an opportunity to observe typical national camp practices, which also highlighted how coaches are challenged based on an individual players learning style.

Ben Adams, Team Manager commented "the evening was a great success with the staff providing a clear insight into the excellent work that they do to support player development at Learning Disability Regional and National Squad levels ...... the interaction throughout the evening from the guests was excellent".

Next up for the squad is the Senior International fixture against England in March before Wales host the Under 19 Home Nations Championships in April.

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