Aaron Wilbraham helps to celebrate Every Player Count's first anniversary

Aaron Wilbraham made a special appearance at Every Player Counts' first anniversary event on Thursday afternoon at MediaCityUK in Salford.

Wanderers' No.18 was in attendance to support the club's Disability Football Team who were competing in a tournament against teams from Wigan Athletic, Shrewsbury Town, Coventry City and Fleetwood Town.

The striker also posed for photographs with the players and spoke to various media outlets about the importance of ensuring access to the game, regardless of personal ability.

And speaking following the event, Wilbraham said, "It's been great to come down here today and see everybody getting an opportunity to play football.

"Even though the programme has been running for just a year, it's been a great success in that time and it's exceeded all expectations which is fantastic.

"Everybody should have the opportunity to play football and it's brilliant to have a project like this available."

The ‘Every Player Counts’ programme is a nationwide initiative to provide opportunities for disabled people to play football in the UK, funded by the Wembley National Stadium Trust and the EFL Trust.

Launched last year, £1.1m in grants were allocated to 25 clubs across the EFL, mainly funded by the WNST with almost £200,000 being donated from the EFL Trust.

25 EFL Club Trusts deliver the activity covering a wide range of disability programmes including wheelchair football, football for visual impairment, learning difficulties, amputees and autism.

Highlights of Every Player Counts' first year

• In its first year the ‘Every Player Counts’ programme got 3,634 unique participants involved in sport, many for the first time, exceeding its year one target by over 20%.

• The target is to get over 5,000 unique participants involved in sport over the coming year

• There were 2,587 retained participants for five+ sessions during the first year

• There were also 1,863 retained participants for ten+ sessions, both of which surpassed the initial targets set

• 13% of participants are from BAME backgrounds, with the second year target to increase that number to around 20%.

• There has been an increase to just over 19% of female participants.

• There were 842 participants between the ages of ten and fifteen participate in the Every Player Counts programme, the most of any age grouping.

• 25 EFL Club Trusts deliver activities covering a wide range of disability programmes that meet the needs of their communities

• Programmes include: wheelchair football, football for visual impairment, learning difficulties and amputees and autism, giving many disabled people access to football for the first time.

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