When Scottish Visually Impaired Footballer Neil Atkinson takes to the court this weekend in the English FA’s Disability Cup for his club Scorpions Futsal, he hopes that his participation will act as inspiration for other visually impaired Scottish footballers to take up the game.
The Livingston native takes part in his third FA Cup Final this weekend, defending the trophy he won with his club in 2019.
His success as a player has spurred him to work with the Scottish FA to create more opportunities for visually impaired footballers in Scotland. He has become an integral member of the recently formed Scottish Visual Impairment Football Network. The Network which aims to develop opportunities for individuals living with a visual impairment to play this adapted game format, was established in 2019. Having delivered two successful events in 2019, the Network is currently working to deliver a further events in 2021.
The Network includes representatives from the following organisations: Scottish FA, RNIB Scotland, Scottish Disability Sport, Rangers Charity Foundation, Stirling Albion Junior Academy and Dundee United Community Trust.
For more information on Visual Impairment Football opportunities, contact Laura.Anderson@Scottishfa.co.uk
Neil Atkinson: “As the only Scottish player in the Partially Sighted Futsal League I hope these events can highlight the opportunity there is for other visually impaired people in Scotland to play football, and ultimately help to grow participation north of the border.”
“I’m excited to be back on the court playing again competitively for the first time in over a year. The Cup is a great event and it’s really special to play at St. George’s Park.
“This is my third FA Cup Final, and this time we will be defending the trophy after our victory in 2019. It’s always a really exciting weekend and hopefully we can play well and repeat the success we achieved two years ago.”
Coverage of the Partially Sighted FA Disability Cup will be available on BT Sport from 2.45pm on Saturday, 17 July.