Down’s Syndrome Oxford (DSO) netted a welcome boost of over £500 following its annual football tournament last weekend.
Thirty-three players took part in the event recently, held for the fourth successive year at Oxford City Football Club in Marston. The four teams played at the Club’s new community arena, which boasts a new, state-of-the-art 3G artificial grass surface.
Self-professed non-footballer Matt Robinson from Middle Aston had previously resisted the pressure to take part in the tournament – until this year when he made his debut. Matt’s daughter Lucy (5) has Down’s Syndrome. “Lucy entered mainstream primary school last September,” says Matt. “This major achievement is in no small way down to the excellent work that DSO funds in pre-school early development speech and language classes, and she continues to remain on a par with her classmates in reading and numeracy. The cost of these groups remains the single largest investment that the charity makes, and vital funds are needed for them to continue.”
Ben Drabble from Didcot scored the decisive winning goal in the final match for the victorious yellow team. He says, “There was a fantastic atmosphere and it was a privilege to be part of such a well-organised and good-spirited event. The real winners were DSO and the many beneficiaries of the fantastic work that they do”.
As well as the football on show, there was a cake stall, refreshments and a raffle. Oxford City again generously donated their facilities, plus officials and staff, all free of charge. Organiser Mark Stevenson from Bicester, whose son Jack (5) has Down’s Syndrome, was delighted by the turnout. “In spite of the gloomy weather, we were really encouraged by the number of family and friends who came along to cheer on the players,” says Mark. “We’re especially grateful to the football club for again hosting us so well, and for their commitment to supporting charities like ours.”