Ability Counts is a programme offering people with disabilities the opportunity to play or coach with Manchester United. Eleven participants, aged 8-12, from across Greater Manchester took part in a series of challenges and tricks with Fletcher during the visit to the Aon Training Complex. Upon successful completion of the challenges, participants were presented with Manchester United goody bags including signed items and tickets.
During the visit Fletcher commented, "Manchester United is so powerful and kids recognise it, they feel important when they've got that badge on their chest. It's a special day for them to come to somewhere like this to meet a first team player, it's fantastic.”
He added, "The Foundation is an important part of the club, the players always enjoy these visits where we can help out. We learn how it much impacts on these people's lives so it's important that we do it and give back."
Parent Ray, enjoyed watching his son Andrew aged 9 in action, he said, "It's been a great afternoon today, the lads have really enjoyed it. They love Manchester United and they've enjoyed meeting Darren today. They've loved playing here at the training ground and it's really great for the Foundation's disability programme.”
The Ability Counts programme has grown into one of the largest in the Premier League and teams focus on players with a sensory, physical and neurological impairment or disability and sign communicators are present at all sessions.
Disability Officer, Stephen Harcourt said "Today's been a great day, the lads really enjoyed it and the parents really appreciate the help that the Foundation give all the children. From my point of view its always great having someone like Darren Fletcher come down and show his support for the project.”