Bradford police to show off soccer skills in feast of futsal (10 Mar 2015)

Police officers from Bradford will join West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) tomorrow (Wednesday) to celebrate the success of a football scheme for deaf people in the city.

The officers and the PCC will be donning their football kit and showing their silky soccer skills in a game of futsal at the Prism Deaf Youth Club in Girlington.

Futsal is a version of five-a-side football which is played with a smaller, brighter and softer ball than the traditional game.

Funding for the eight-week project was obtained from lottery-funded scheme West Yorkshire Sportivate, which gives people aged 11 to 25 who are interested in sport the chance to experience it through a short programme of coaching.

It was launched by PC Jo Armstrong from the Bradford City Area Neighbourhood Team, who teamed up with Sam Allen from the deaf community to improve engagement between themselves and the police. A similar scheme has also been running at Hanson School Academy.

Players from FA Cup giant-killers Bradford City are expected to be in attendance, as are representatives from the Football Association.

Certificates will be handed out afterwards to all those who have taken part.

PC Armstrong, said: "It's been absolutely amazing. The youngsters have really enjoyed it and also taken the opportunity to engage with the police through the language of the beautiful game."

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "I am looking forward to taking part in the game, which should be a fitting end to this very successful scheme.

"Sports such as futsal are a great way to promote community cohesion and increase self-esteem, confidence and motivation.

"Futsal is an inclusive sport which builds on a lot of the skills behind football, with several ex-players moving on to careers as professional footballers, and I am pleased that the deaf community embraced this opportunity to try it out."

Funding for Futsal was secured from Sportive by the West Yorkshire for Innovation (WyFi) team of the Office and Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire who seek new ways in which to raise income to support community safety and well-being.  The lead for WyFi, Inspector Andrew Staniforth stated: "It is great to see the work of the WyFi team resulting in the creation of valuable youth engagement opportunities for local policing, encouraging members of our communities to participate in sport."

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