Members from a Bedford adult football team jetted to Belfast on a trip that was the first time on a plane for some of the team.
Bedford Borough’s Adults’ Services football team competed in the ‘George Best Community Cup’ following a special invitation from the Northern Ireland Football Association.
Over 200 teams made up of players with a physical or learning disability took part in the competition, enabling them to engage in sports and play at a competitive level.
Councillor Mohammad Yasin, portfolio holder for adults’ services at Bedford Council, said: “This exciting trip was underpinned by the Healthy Bedford strategy to promote adult social care services by improving access, choice and advocacy for users, as well as providing healthier lifestyle opportunities for service users.
“Congratulations to those who took part, I hope that this match has given the players some fantastic memories for many years to come.”
The team were invited by the Football Association (FA) as a result of their success at the county disability football league at the Beds FA in Dunstable, where they play each month.
This trip was the first time that some of the team had been outside of England and the first time that some of them had stepped on a plane.
The team stayed for three nights at Stranmillis University and were able to experience local culture and meet people from a number of different cultural backgrounds, gaining independence and travel skills.
This is not the first time that the team’s efforts have been recognised, as they were nominated for an award at the Bedford Sports Awards last year.
The team train once a week at the Bedford Athletic stadium.
For more information about the team, contact Ryan Gale on 01234 718326.