The club is showing its support for a local learning disabilities team, Leyden House All Stars, by hosting a bucket collection prior to Monday's game v Hartlepool to help the team fulfill a dream of taking part in the Catalan Cup 2013 next month.
Bucket collectors will be located around the ground prior to kick-off and we encourage you to donate any loose change you may have after visiting the programme sellers and tea bars.
Based at the Leyden House day centre on Leyden Road in Stevenage, the Leyden All Stars football team officially started in 2009 and used the Stevenage FC Academy pitches for training. It has since joined the ‘ability’ league and plays monthly matches in Dunstable but it was the team’s qualified coach who secured the team’s invite to this tournament in Spain.
The Catalan Cup will be taking place between 25th-30th May and will see the Leyden House team compete with other European teams on the Costa Brava. As well as competing in the 7-a-side tournament the trip will offer the players a fantastic chance to enjoy some sunshine, the beautiful sights and go on some great excursions.
Staff at the centre say the team has had an extremely positive effect on everyone, both players and supporters:
“Predominantly people have fun, but it’s also noticeable that self-esteem and confidence has grown, general fitness has improved and comradeship as a team and support for each other has developed. Players are constantly learning about commitment and responsibility – to turn up every week (whatever the weather), to remember their kit, to keep hydrated, awareness of what time they eat, to work together. There has been a big improvement in football skills but perhaps more importantly also their social skills and independence.
“Watching the team leave and return on training or match days gives a real buzz at Leyden House. The enjoyment seems to begin the minute the guys get together. Whether they win or lose the team have a great time participating and always have details of their goals and near misses to share when they return.”
“We’d like to thank Stevenage FC and its fans for their support in what will be a life-changing trip for these people.”