Premier League/BT Disability

Middlesbrough FC scholar helping a child

MFC Foundation’s Premier League/BT Disability project provides opportunities for people across the Tees Valley that have a range of disabilities, including but not restricted to, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, autism and mental health.

MFC Foundation have been engaging people through disability provision since 2014, but recent funding from the Premier League and BT Sport Disability Fund has invigorated the project and as a result has allowed for an increase in the provision and support that this project offers. The PL and BT sport initiative is a three year programme that is designed to inspire and engage disabled people through sport across these four key programme areas:

  • Sport
  • Inclusion
  • Engagement
  • Events

Furthermore, this initiative has identified that disabled people are half as likely to participate in sports as able bodied people, and through MFC Foundations targeted delivery we aim to remove the barriers relating to opportunities and accessibility for disabled people to increase participation.

Key partnerships with local organisations such as Tees Valley Sport and North Riding County FA, among others, are crucial in the development of the project in achieving the strategic aims of community engagement, programme development and delivery, events, and training. This is also supported by the Tees Valley Disability Sports Forum that maps out disability sport in the region to identify current provision and opportunities for potential participants, as well as highlighting the need for new disability specific delivery in areas across the region.

Since September 2016, MFC Foundation’s PL Inclusion project is on course to engage 500+ disabled people within the year, in sport and physical activity, through numerous multi-sport and football specific sessions. This has been achieved through delivery and support at local schools, colleges, community groups and clubs, which has culminated in successful events such as festivals and tournaments that have highlighted and celebrated the success of everyone involved.

We currently run the following sessions during school times:

Acorn Centre

  • Cerebral Palsy: Tuesday 4.45pm – 5.45pm
  • Deaf & Hard of hearing: Tuesday 5.45pm – 6.45pm
  • Pan-Disability (All disabilities): Wednesday 4.45pm – 5.45pm
  • Downs Syndrome: Wednesday 5.45pm – 6.45pm

Contact Lee on lee.grace@mfcfoundation.co.uk or 01642 757674


Boro Anniversary Shirt Launched With MFC Foundation Logo

In recognition of the Riverside celebrating its 25th birthday, the club have commissioned a commemorative shirt and the Foundation’s logo will be proudly displayed on it.

Unlike last season where we were shirt sponsor for one game against QPR, the name of MFC Foundation will be on Boro’s third shirt every time it is worn this season. It will be seen for the first time when Boro take on Cardiff City on Saturday.

The shirt is worn here by participants of some of the programmes we run. Kevin lost 28 pounds during a course of male FIT BORO sessions, Nusrat’s physical and mental well-being improved during the female FIT BORO sessions. Hazel represents Football Welcomes, a programme that brings together multiple nationalities, Abdullah’s journey through that programme has moved on through volunteering and is now in a Traineeship programme, while Nick has been with us as long as the stadium itself, we thank him for 25 years sterling service as a volunteer.

“It is an honour for the Foundation to be on a very special shirt,” says Helena Bowman, head of the Foundation. “This is an historic season for the club and the Riverside and for us to be part of that history is humbling.

“We must thank the Kindred Group for donating their sponsorship space to us and allowing the Foundation logo, a badge of honour for us, to be on a unique shirt and help raise our profile. This means so much to us.”

Boro’s commemorative shirt launched on Friday October 23 2020

Helena continues: “To think it is already 25 years since the club moved into a new home. They have faced many challenges in that time. We too face challenges like we have never faced before.

“We are living in difficult and demanding times, but we are doing all we can to reach out to those in need, to provide help, to inspire confidence in communities and provide hope for individuals.

“Our mission is simple, by harnessing the passion and power of the club brand, we work to raise aspirations and improve the life chances of young people and adults across Teesside.

“We work in some of the most disadvantaged areas of Teesside. We engage with those who need our support through the delivery of inspiring sport, education, health and inclusion projects.

“We’re very proud of what we do as a Foundation and we hope Teesside is proud of us.”

Middlesbrough Football Club and MFC Foundation working together at the very heart of YOUR community.