RULES ON ELIGIBILITY TO JOIN WDFC
WDFC intends to apply as inclusive a membership policy as is possible within the rules of the Football Association, Special Olympics and Paralympics organizations for eligibility to take part in disability sport. Because we intend to enter competitive tournaments such as the Ability Counts Leagues, we must ensure that all our players are capable of meeting any eligibility criteria set by the organizations running any competition.
For this reason we have established 3 classes of membership to the WDFC, they are:
Any person who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities or who has a well-defined disorder that requires them to have substantial support to manage their life safely.
For the purposes of these rules:
- ‘substantial’ means neither minor nor trivial
- ‘long term’ means that the effect of the impairment has lasted or is likely to last for at least 12 months
- ‘normal day-to-day activities’ include everyday things like eating, washing, walking and going shopping
- a normal day-to-day activity must affect one of the 'capacities' listed in the Disability Discrimination Act which include mobility, manual dexterity, speech, hearing, seeing and memory
- ‘well-defined’ means subject to a medical diagnosis.
Generally, we would expect that the PLAYER would have a disorder that would be easily observed by a non-expert in normal day-to-day social activity. If an aspiring player is able to manage their lives without any form of close care or supervision, beyond that of the common care given to family members by parents and siblings, then they would not normally be eligible to join as a PLAYER. WDFC reserves the right to exercise discretion in allowing PLAYER membership.
Any person who is willing to take part in the organization of matches, training of players and support for the Club; is willing to undergo CRB checks, and take part in Football Association Coaching Training. This class of membership is open to both able and disabled people.
Any person who is willing to undertake support activity for the Club but not become a COACH or PLAYER. An ASSOCIATE can convert to COACHING after one year as an associate member and providing they are willing to attend Football Association training. This class of membership is open to both able and disabled people and will require Associates to undergo CRB checks in some cases.
WDFC is particularly keen to attract as many COACH and ASSOCIATE members as possible from the families of our PLAYERS.
Further Guidance on Membership Classes
What if one of our players has a good friend or relative who would like to come along and support them 'physically'?
WDFC: If it was something that happened every so often they could come along to training and help but could not take part in any official games.
If it was something they wanted to do every week we would probably welcome them as an associate on the understanding that we would be using them from a helping out /support position not as a player although they may well take part in all aspects of a training session and training game Opportunities would become available to them after 12 months dependant on age etc to enter into a coaching position or some other supprot role. They may have to undergo Criminal Records Bureau checks.
What if a young person with no disability turns up to one of our training sessions and wants to be involved?
WDFC: We would need to clearly explain the basis of our club to them and that the rules we abide by, in particular, a non-disabled person could not qualify to play in competitive games. However, we would want to uphold principles of inclusion , good role models and barrier breaking down between fully able and less/disabled people and at the discretion of the club may well allow individuals who want to be involved, who uphold our constitutions etc to take part in training sessions on a short term basis. After some time they could progress to becoming an associate or coach.
Can any adult join as an Associate or Coach?
WDFC: We would be pleased to welcome anyone to our team providing they are able to produce at least 2 character references and be willing to undergo CRB checks. There are other rules applied under the FA code of conduct and if the person passes the simple rules, then we would allow them to join in all our activities.