CP United striving to make a differenceNews
CP United are a football club making a difference in their community up in the North West of England and their success is evidence of the appetite for cerebral palsy football in the region.
Co-founder Michelle Wilcock, who has been a professional coach for 22 years working at clubs such as Manchester United, said we were inspired to build the club off the back of London 2012 Paralympic games and have been delighted by its rapid growth.
"It's the best decision we could have made as the growth of the club has been phenomenal," said Wilcock. "Which just shows that there was and is a real need for CP specific football as the growth is showing no signs of slowing down even during the pandemic
"We became a charity in 2017 and again this was another decision made to support long term growth and sustainability but also to try to meet the wider needs of all our members including their families."
With just under 150 players aged two, all the way up to adult age groups the club have six different centres across the North West region. “Players can now access regular CP football sessions and we are working hard to provide as much localised provision as possible across the Region. Some players are also doubling up and attending sessions across two centres each week which is having a massive impact on their development”
Wilcock continued by saying: "In terms of achievements, there have been so many in quite a short space of time and we witness them every single week.”
"To watch development, take place both on and off the pitch is such a privilege. On the pitch our players have worked really hard and won trophies, we've played in games and tournaments abroad with different age groups, which were all fantastic experiences and treasured memories.”
"We have been very honoured to win several awards over the past five years as an organisation, and many of our members have also won individual awards, which is brilliant to see
"It's nice to win things and its really humbling to receive that recognition and we are very thankful for that, but the biggest rewards come each week watching people develop and grow, make friends, build confidence, and seeing the club go from strength to strength, That is the true measures of success and the really important thing to talk about."
The club prides itself on the experiences it creates for its players and the wider community. While the current world circumstances have made it hard for all grassroots clubs, CP United's are very optimistic about the future.
Wilcock explained: "First and foremost, we want to sustain what we have and come out of this pandemic in a strong position.
"We are working hard to keep everyone connected and continue to support people by trying to meet some of the essential needs of our members and their families through our support programs and various projects. This has been a challenge but one that we have been able to adapt to and learn from too.
"Despite the challenge's at present we have welcomed 8 new players since we started back at the end of September across different age groups, so as I said we are still growing despite everything, which is a really good sign and we are excited about the future."
The club also have a strong social media presence on both Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as they look to continue to build their player-base across their region and beyond
CP United are a club that IFCPF is thrilled to shine a spotlight on and everyone at the organisation is amazed by the work done so far.