Aston Villa Football Club has the largest club based disability programme in the Midlands. There are several key aspects to the programme.
The "Special Needs Ability Counts" programme helps identify and develop talented footballers, providing quality coaching and increasing participation
The club cater for all impairment groups with junior and senior sections. Subsequently, players will participate in the regional Ability Counts Leagues.
This project enables 36 physically disabled students aged 16-19 to spend four full-time days a week studying the “Aston Villa Disability Life Skills Programme”.
The course is accredited, as the young people have the chance to gain the following qualifications (in conjunction with ASDAN):
The disability programme also includes the following:
Over 9,400 children reached annually (2009 AVFC FITC audit)
As part of the city's "Be Active" campaign, there are 6 dedicated free-of-charge children's gyms located across the city, with a dedicated Ice Gym located directly in the stadium at Villa Park. The Ice gym can be used by children ages 8-16 and includes the best in physical exercise equipment dedicated for use by children and teens.
A new addition to the gym is a state of the art 8 person dance studio and machine to encourage an alternative means of activity, following the popularity of many dance related TV programmes. In addition, the gym caters for family and female only activity sessions to meet the needs of the local South Asian community.
The gym now has over 500 members, making it the largest youth gym in terms of participation in the entire West Midlands.