From left, Sam Balsdon, Bob Cole (TUST), Jake Topping (TUCST) and TUST chairman Michel Thomas. Credit: Dennis Kallmer

Torquay United's Community Sports Trust launches Junior Disability Football League

Dave Thomas

Lifelong Torquay United fan Sam Balsdon’s fitness and determination three years ago has finally paid off with the foundation of a first-ever Junior Disability Football League set up by the Gulls’ Community Sports Trust and Torquay United Supporters’ Trust (TUST).

In 2019, Balsdon ran 122 laps of Plainmoor to raise funds for a roof over the wheelchair user section of Bristow’s Bench.

The Covid pandemic and successive lockdowns intervened, and it was during one of these periods that the club itself carried out the work.

That left £1,500 from various sponsors, so Sam and TUST decided to put the money towards a much-needed community project, which has now emerged as the Junior Disability League.

Around 50 boys and girls, aged five upwards, are already signed up with the support of their parents and carers, many of them taking part at Paignton Community College last weekend.

TUCST’s Jake Topping said, “We had an exciting and fun morning, helping the kids to enjoy playing football.”

More sessions are planned, with children developing their football skills and progressing towards the adult Inspirations teams.

Money raised by Sam and TUST members will go towards kit, footballs and facility hire.