Canada Soccer

Canada Soccer introduces LTPD for Players with Disabilities

Posted on 27 January 2014 in Canada Soccer Pathway (LTPD)

In a constant effort to ensure that players of all ages and abilities reach their full potential in soccer, Canada Soccer is pleased to introduce its Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) for Players with Disabilities resource guide.

LTPD for Players with Disabilities is an important first step in promoting logical and systematic soccer programming in Canada for players with disabilities. Soccer organizations, in partnership with disability organizations, can work within this recognizable framework to develop appropriate programs at all levels of participation. Beginning with children in the Active Start and FUNdamentals stages, and leading all the way to the Train to Win and Soccer for Life stages, the LTPD guidelines provide broad guidance to ensure that training and competition meet the needs of the players, and that as many players as possible have the chance to enjoy soccer and excel in the sport.

At the grassroots and recreational levels, disability soccer programs can provide regular healthy activity to promote wellness, social integration and physical literacy. At the elite level, high performance programs can provide ambitious and talented disability players with opportunities for achievement in national and international competition.

Some players with disabilities might play soccer with the aim of competing at the international level, while other players might simply be seeking to enjoy the sport for its social and health benefits. Disability soccer programs respect the variety of aims and ambitions of the players, recognizing that all Canadians who take an interest in soccer deserve the opportunity to enjoy the game.

There are 6 major types of modified soccer for persons with disabilities:

  • Soccer 7-a-side is a Paralympic sport for players with cerebral palsy, brain injury or stroke (governed by Canada Soccer under the Para Soccer national program).
  • Soccer 5-a-side is a Paralympic sport for players with visual impairments.
  • Special Olympics soccer is generally a 5-a-side format for players with intellectual disabilities. INAS-FID also offers 11-a-side opportunities for players with intellectual disabilities.
  • Deaf soccer is played by deaf or hard of hearing players in the standard 11-a-side format (under the Canadian Deaf Sports Association’s national programs).
  • Powerchair soccer is a 4-a-side game (including goalkeeper) played in gymnasiums by persons with disabilities who use electric wheelchairs (organized by Powerchair Football Canada).
  • Amputee soccer is a 7-a-side format played by persons with amputations or similar disabilities.

The LTPD for Players with Disabilities guide has been developed by Canada Soccer in association with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Sport Canada. This guide, as well as other Canada Soccer LTPD resources, are available for download and in printed format via Canada Soccer’s Provincial/Territorial Member Associations.

Canada Soccer would like to thank the following contributors for their assistance in creating the guide: Colin Higgs, Ph.D., Memorial University of Newfoundland; Drew Ferguson, Head Coach, Canadian Para Soccer Team; Jeff Davis, National Football Development Manager (Disability), England FA; Rebeccah Bornemann, Special Advisor, Sport Development, Sport Canada; Marie Dannhaeuser, Executive Director, Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sports Association; Matthew Greenwood, Manager of Club Development, Ontario Soccer Association; John Clubb, South Coach, Alberta Soccer Association; Rob Needham, Executive Director, Sport, Canadian Paralympic Committee; Catherine Ireland, Program Coordinator, Wheelchair Basketball Canada; and Sharon Bollenbach, Vice President, Sport, Special Olympics.


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