‘Level Playing Field’ was central to activity around the match on Saturday at the Blades game with Leyton Orient with the whole club supporting the day.
Local children and young people took part in a Football Festival at the U-mix Centre in the morning organised by Sheffield United Community Foundation and their partners which included the Foundation’s DSActive group, Sheffield United Disabled Supporters, Burton Street Foundation, Seven Hills School, Spartans FC/Sheffield Special Olympics, Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA and The Derek Dooley Football Academy.
Those involved then marched the short distance to the ground where a representative group of participants was presented to the crowd.
There followed a very special presentation to Jake Sharp by Sheffield United representatives Sylvia Dooley, wife of the legendary Derek Dooley, Co -Chairman Kevin McCabe and Chair of the Community Foundation Mike Blundell.
Jake who is part of the DSActive group run by the Community Foundation received his award having been nominated as Young Disability Ambassador. Jake was a special guest of the Club along with his family on the day and took part in a number of activities.
Many of those involved with the Football Festival took part in a flag wave and balloon release on the pitch before kick off.
At half time the Football Festival participants were joined by members of the Sheffield United Disabled Supporters for a pitch parade and they received an amazing reception from fans around the ground.
“My foster son attended the Level Playing Field Football Festival held on Saturday 5 April and he had a fantastic time. The coaches and staff at the football tournament were excellent and it gave my son an opportunity to compete, score goals, get a medal and make new friends. The walk to the football ground and the parade around the pitch at Bramall Lane waving flags and banners and being applauded by the crowd made an already great day into a brilliant one. A big thank you from me and especially from my son to all those involved in the organising of this memorable event.“ Shaun Barker Foster Carer
“I felt proud to be part of this special day” – Charlotte Wood Student Seven Hills School
“The response from the day has been amazing with a most participants expressing how proud they felt to be part of the festival. We are proud that the Foundation was able to facilitate such moments for these young people and their families and will continue to do so with Sheffield United FC” Lloyd Samuels, Sheffield United Community Foundation DSActive Coordinator
‘What a fantastic day. Thanks to everyone who helped made it happen. Everyone involved enjoyed themselves. Jake Sharp was brilliant and had a day to remember. Sheffield United is proud to support work being done through football to promote equality and diversity.’ Sue Beeley .Sheffield United FC, Equality Officer