#YouthVoice Bryan Shares His Journey into Disability Football
- Can you tell us your name, age and where you’re from?
Bryan Kilpatrick-Elliott Age 13 Doncaster South Yorkshire
- Can you tell us about how you first got into playing football?
I first started playing football with my friends at school and at home. My friends dad was a coach at a local team and I asked to join the team the team was a mainstream grassroots football team Fishlake Falcons. I really enjoyed playing for them and being with my friends. I did find it hard to keep up with having right sided Hemiplegia Cerebral Palsy. That didn’t stop me though and I always trained and played my best. The more I played the more I wanted to be involved and play at a high level. I set about searching the internet and YouTube for information on disability football and the opportunities it offers. I eventually found a clip of then England CP football captain Jack Rutter talking about the Cerebral Palsy World Cup being held at St George’s Park. After I saw this I was hooked I knew I wanted to play for England and be like Jack and the rest of team. I asked my dad to contact jack on social media to find out more. Jack as been an amazing support to me and has guided me into CP football and still keeps in touch to check how I am getting on.
- How has playing football impacted your life in a positive way?
Playing CP football has been amazing for me I have learned a lot about disability football and it has also helped me grow up. The main thing it has taught me is that if you work hard and are dedicated to something you can achieve your dreams. It has also inspired me to give back and raise awareness for disability football so other kids who may be struggling or need some help finding a team that suits them can get involved and not miss out on the amazing opportunities. I currently play for Manchester based CP United and love it there the coaches and players both senior and foundation level all help create an amazing club that we all feel part of and gives us confidence to enjoy our football and dream big ⚽️
- What are your future aspirations for playing football?
I would love to play at a World Cup or Paralympic Games for my country like Jack Rutter. But I also enjoy learning about the game and coaching and the media side of things. I would like to be involved in the game for a long time and hopefully make it more of a mainstream option for future CP footballers.
- What message would you like to spread to other young people with disabilities?
I think most kids with disabilities know how awesome they are but for the ones who want to get more involved or do something different I would suggest never giving up work hard and take as many opportunities to try new things as you can. Also find something you enjoy and just have fun.
- Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I would like to thank the Rio Ferdinand foundation for the opportunity to share my story. I am a huge Manchester United fan so to have the support from you guys and Rio is awesome. Also for anyone who wants more information on disability football or CP specific follow @ifcpf or go to the FA disability page for how to access football in your area. bethebestyoucanbe 👊