Ahead of the second annual Severn Sport Shield in July, we are absolutely delighted to confirm the official charity partner of this year’s tournament: Goals Beyond Grass.
Founded in 2016 by CEO Brian Dix, GBG work using Powerchair football to take the sport into the community and give everyone the chance to feel involved.
The charity now operates on a daily basis looking at bringing ‘Sport for all’, and we are thrilled to be working alongside them at this year’s Severn Sport Shield.
Head of Programming, Ryan Butler said “Severn Sport are delighted to have Brian and everyone at Goals Beyond Grass involved with the tournament.
“After hearing about them from his step-son Jon Atkinson and hearing about Patrick Cleal’s involvement too it was a no brainer to get them involved and hopefully raise some money for such an inclusive charity that promotes sport in the county.”
Dix first got involved with Powerchair football in 2014, whilst chairman of Cheltenham Saracens, through several different groups including the Wheelchair Football Association (WFA), The FA Sport England, Active Gloucestershire and the GFA.
Since then, however, the game has grown massively as he explains.
“We started with no teams or groups in Gloucestershire” Dix said. “Now we have one team in the National League and two teams in the South West regional league.
“There’s also a group of development players and outreach clubs at Milestone school, National Star College, Dene Magna school as well as regional taster sessions. We’re also putting on training camps in the summer attracting players from all over the UK, Ireland and Switzerland.”
Also involved in Goals Beyond Grass is Bishop’s Cleeve FC physio and John Ashplant Local Hero award recipient, Patrick Cleal.
Upon receiving the award back in May, Cleal said “Humbled and honoured [to receive this award]! This isn’t about me it’s about all the children and adults that have found hope in any session that Goals Beyond Grass has put on.”
When speaking to Dix it is obvious the passion he has for this cause, especially when it comes to helping the international development of the sport and the inclusion of so many people.
“Being part of the European Powerchair Football Association (EPFA) is amazing because we can help the countries who struggle with disability in general, let alone sport” he said.
“We can train the coaches, the refs and the players. We can give them equipment and help them set up their own infrastructure so they can have their own league and cup competitions, which allows them to grow the game in their countries and give them continued support.”
To support Goals Beyond Grass and find out more about what they do, visit http://www.goalsbeyondgrass.co.uk. You will also be able to donate to their cause at the Severn Sport Shield 2019, between Tuesday 9 and Saturday 13 July.