Norwood Awards are a Winner for Spurs

30 November 2012

Disability equality in sport is not about having enhanced opportunity- it’s about having the same opportunities as everyone else.

Former Tottenham captain and England Player Gary Mabbutt joined the line-up of guests at Norwood’s Achievement Awards on Thursday, held at the clubs iconic stadium, White Hart Lane.

Staff, participants and volunteers gathered for the ceremony, which marked the end of SNAP (Spurs Norwood Altogether Project), a sports development scheme pioneered by Norwood, for children, young people and adults with learning disabilities.

The project, funded over the past three and a half years by the Football Foundation – has provided more than 2500 hours of sport for people with learning disabilities. It’s also delivered specialised training for disability sports coaches. The newly qualified coaches will continue to run tailored sports programmes in the future for people who use Norwood’s services.

Guest heard from Stewart Lucas, CEO of Interactive, who said: "Disability equality in sport is not about having enhanced opportunity- it’s about having the same opportunities as everyone else. We need to make sure these opportunities are everywhere in the community, and that everything is inclusive. I would like to thank Norwood for having the faith to take this project forward."

The evening’s guest of honour, Gary Mabbutt, was interviewed by Gareth Dace, Education Officer at Tottenham Hotspur Foundation. The former professional footballer spoke about topics including highlights from the career and his relationship with Paul Gascgoine. He said: "Gazza was one of the best players to play in my career. He is a great character and a great footballer, but as a captain he was a nightmare. He caused absolute mayhem." Talking about SNAP, he said: "The game on every level is about enjoyment and taking part, which is reflected in this project."

Awards were then presented to staff, volunteers, and people supported by Norwood, who have now officially qualified as Disability Sports Coaches. Marc Butcher, who works at Norwood’s main office in Stanmore, was one of 12 staff trained as a Disability Sports Coach through the project and won the ‘Spirit of Sport’ award.

He said: "I am extremely proud to have been part of something so special. I am a massive football fan and sport is a big part of my life, so I feel really lucky to have been involved. I look forward to putting the skills I have learned into practice and coaching through Norwood in the future. I am so proud to have received this award."

Angela Duce, Norwood’s Associate Director of Learning and Disability Support, who spoke at the Awards, said: "Although these awards not only mark the end of the SNAP project, they also mark the beginning of Norwood’s future as a catalyst for inclusive sports."

The SNAP project has been designed to provide invaluable, structured inclusive sport opportunities for people who use Norwood services. I would like to thank Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, Sam at Saracens Sport Foundation and all the staff who have supported the project."

Other guests at the event included the Deputy Mayor of Haringey, Councillor Shelia Peacock who closed the ceremony and Norwood staff, Directors and Trustees.