Latest Sponsorship Removes Barriers to the ‘Beautiful Game’
10 October 2023
Greenwich Powerchair Football Club (GPFC) is a project that brings footballing fun to physically disabled people who are otherwise excluded from the Beautiful Game.
The club was established in 2006 by Sharon Brokenshire MBE, Viv French-Gibbens and Viv’s son Shea. Shea was the founder player of GPFC and was, in his younger days, an ambassador for Whizzkids, which was a former FFT charity of the year.
Originally, funding came from BBC Children in Need, and Royal Borough of Greenwich subsidises the playing area for them, but the club mostly relies on donations and fundraising.
Whilst the club is open to players of all ages, the majority are young adults. Their primary focus is on disabled players who are no longer in full time education. This group has been identified as being traditionally excluded from grass roots sports, mainly because they are not the community’s poorest, yet they don’t enjoy sufficient state allowances to cover the expenses of funding transport, equipment and club fees.
Sharon Brokenshire is passionate about making the exciting, adrenaline-fuelled game of football open to all who want to play it, rather than just allowing it to be the privilege of those who can afford it. “Football is our common language, our national game and we want it to be available to all. It’s a great thing to feel included,” she says.
Sharon explained to FFT Senior Partner Robin Faithorn that by being part of GPFC, players don’t just get to enjoy a team game, but they can also build their self-esteem, make new friends and improve their health and well-being. “That’s the power of football”, she said.
The powerchairs are very expensive, and all of them have recently been replaced through fundraising. Outside of this, the club is very much in need of financial help for the core purpose of ongoing sustainability. And through our own charitable arm, Effinity Charitable Foundation (ECF), we are proud to have been able to fund the club in this respect for the 2023-24 season.
ECF was founded by FFT’s founding partners on the principle of providing financial and practical support to disadvantaged young people, giving them opportunities for self-improvement, helping them to participate in society to a greater extent, and making it possible to realise personal ambitions.
Robin Faithorn said, “GPFC is a great match for the objectives and culture of both Effinity and FFT, and we are greatly looking forward to the season ahead.”
“We are so excited at GREENWICH PFC to have received a year’s sponsorship from. FFT, a successful local company of surveyors. It is such an inspiration to our players to feel valued within the community. It makes such an incredible positive difference to their lives. Football is a game for everybody and this goes to prove it.
Thanks FFT- once you see it, you will be hooked!” Sharon Brokenshire